As with alcohol and other drugs, Georgia law makes unlawful to drive less safe under the influence of inhalants. An inhalant DUI may result in similar penalties to an alcohol DUI, but is a special type of case that should be handled by an experienced Atlanta lawyer who has devoted their professional practice to defending people accused of all kinds of DUI charges. Under state law, O.C.G.A. 40-6-391:
A person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any moving vehicle while under the intentional influence of any glue, aerosol, or other toxic vapor to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive.
Unlawful Inhalants in Georgia
Young people and teens are especially at risk of using inhalants. Inhalants are readily available to people when other drugs or alcohol are more restricted. Inhalants can include: paint thinner, gasoline, glue, or nitrous oxide. They are usually inhaled by sniffing from a container or huffing them from a soaked rag. The intoxicating effects of inhalants last only a short time, and may be repeatedly inhaled over time to maintain the effects.
Inhalant DUI Penalties
Similar to an alcohol DUI, penalties for a conviction for an inhalant DUI includes:
- Fine from $300 to $1,000
- Possible imprisonment
- 40 hours of community service
- Completion of DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program
- Clinical evaluation, and possible substance abuse program
Penalties are increased for a second conviction for any DUI within a ten-year period, including additional fines, mandatory minimum imprisonment, and 30 days of community service.
Inhalants Impact on Driving Ability
The effects of inhalant use can be similar to the effects of alcohol, including stimulation, loss of inhibitions, slurred speech, and decreased motor control function. Inhalant use combined with driving can be dangerous, increasing risky driving behavior combined with decreased motor function.
However, police observations of an impaired driver using inhalants can be more difficult to demonstrate. The effects of inhalants are more short term than the effects of alcohol. Additionally, there is less research on the science behind detecting driver's impaired by inhalants. Often the only thing connecting impaired driving to inhalant use is if the police find an aerosol can or glue in the car, which has obvious, legal and innocent uses. This is why you need a DUI defense lawyer who is certified to teach field sobriety testing, who understands what the police are looking for.
Inhalant DUI Defense in Georgia
If you have been charged with driving under the influence of glue or other toxic vapors in Atlanta, you do not have to plead guilty. Inhalant DUIs are different than alcohol DUIs. It is important for you to speak with a DUI lawyer who doesn't just do alcohol DUIs, but has experience with people charged with inhalant DUIs. I have the courtroom experience, skill, and training to defend inhalant DUI cases. I have a proven record of dismissed counts and reduced charges. Call me anytime, day or night, and I will fight to defend your rights.