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Monday, December 27, 2004
Huffing Charge



This UPI headline caught my eye :: Accused 'huffer' kills teen in crash. Huffing is like puffing. So why should someone be charged as a "huffer". Upon looking up the other meaning of "huffing", things become a little clearer. It appears that "huffing" has to do with volatile substance abuse :: it is the practice of inhaling volatile substances for their psychoactive effects. Common substances used for "huffing" include petrol, propane and butane gases, freon, plastic and rubber cements and acetone. Abuse of such substances do carry harmful side effects. Volatile agents used for anaesthetic purposes in medicine like ether and nitrous oxide can also give "highs" but have less harmful effects. Obviously senile me is out of touch with such practices of our in-generation.
Parents who want to know more on how to deal with "huffing" can check out this link at DrGreene.com.
Now back to the article that started this blog entry. According to the report, New York City prosecutors have filed a driving while huffing charge against a man they say caused a deadly accident while high on aerosol fumes. While under the influence, the man crashed head-on into an oncoming vehicle, killing an 18-year-old girl. This apparently is the first driving-while-intoxicated-by-aerosol-propellant case in New York state. Presently there is also no law in New York state that specifically deals with driving and "huffing". It is hope that the case will set a precedent. The other problems faced by the prosecution are that physical signs of "huffing" disappear almost immediately, so investigators have a difficult time investigating cases where the practice is involved. There are also no standard breath, urine or blood tests which can detect the inhalants used.
Now what i am wondering is whether our polis do consider this form of substance abuse when investigating road traffic accident cases or other criminal cases. The other thing is whether our penal code has a section dealing with such offenders when they are under the influence. Obviously our in-generation must be using or abusing such volatile psychoactive agents like their fellows in New York and other places.



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