According to a recent news report form the Tennessean, authorities recently arrested a woman for driving under the influence (DUI) after she allegedly got high from inhaling the propellant gas in whipped cream cans.
Authorities say they were first called to the scene around 9 in the morning when a woman crashed her SUV into a mailbox. When officers arrived on the scene, they observed defendant, a 28-year-old woman, who appeared to be high on drugs. They supposedly noticed her car was filled with whipped cream cans, and ultimately recovered 13 cans from her SUV.
After conducting an initial investigation, authorities believe suspect first ran off the road into a ditch and then drove out of the ditch and crashed into the mailbox. Authorities placed suspect under arrest for driving under the influence and also charged her with failing to report a car accident, and issued citations for other moving violations.
Suspect was then taken to a local jail, as, when authorities ran suspect's criminal history, they allegedly found she had been arrested on 10 previous occasions, beginning in 2006, for charges including driving under the influence, violation of probation, driving with a revoked or suspended license, and possession of alcohol by a person under 21 years of age. It should be noted, suspect has not been convicted of any crime in connection with this incident and is presumed innocent unless and until she is found guilty in a court of law.
As our Birmingham DUI defense attorney can explain, many clients do not know that they can be charged with driving under the influence of drugs when the substance in question is legal for them to possess. This often comes up after a suspect is arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of a prescription drug, for which suspect has a valid proscription, or over-the-counter medications such as Nyquil.
The fact that the medicine is legal to possess and take without a prescription or with a valid prescription does not mean it is legal to drive after using the medication if this medication causes user to be intoxicated.
Methadone is another example of a drug that is legal to take with a prescription, but it is illegal to drive when one is under the influence of its effects. Methadone is generally used by patients who are addicted to heroin and trying to fight their addiction with managed doses of less potent drugs than heroin. While there are better options than methadone that are not supposed to cause intoxication, such as Suboxone, most heroin addicts cannot afford the medication and are left going to methadone clinics. If a person takes their prescribed dosage and then gets behind the wheel, they can, and often are, arrested for driving under influence drugs.
This makes sense when we think of the fact that alcohol is legal for anyone over the age of 21 to possess and drink as much as they wish, even to the point of causing serious health issues, but it is not legal to drink and drive.
Police: DUI suspect had 13 cans of whipped cream in SUV, May 28, 2015, The Tennessean