There are several reasons why a driver might face a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) in Kentucky. One is by operating a motor vehicle while drunk on alcoholic beverages. The other is driving while intoxicated due to a controlled substance like methamphetamine or hallucinogens.
But did you know that an officer can charge you with DUI if you’re driving while intoxicated from an inhalant?
What are inhalants?
Inhalants are everyday items such as spray paints, glue, marking pens and gasoline that are perfectly legal. However, the vapors these items release can cause intoxication or stimulation – sometimes the effect is strong enough to impair a person’s ability to drive.
Other inhalants that can cause intoxicating effects include shoe polish, lighter fluid, correction fluid, lacquer thinners, aerosol sprays and paint solvents.
The impairing effects of inhalants typically last from several minutes to an hour. This may sound short, but it only takes a momentary lapse in judgment and reaction for an inhalant-addled driver to cause an accident.
Does Kentucky DUI law specifically name inhalants?
Per state law, a person is prohibited from operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances, or any other substance that impairs their driving ability. This broad definition encompasses a wide range of substances, including inhalants.
Notably, the official Kentucky Transportation Cabinet website lists inhalants as one of the other substances that can lead to DUIs.
A conviction for inhalant DUI leads to the same penalties as any other DUI. For a first offense, the person faces up to 30 days of jail time and $500 in fines. Their license is also suspended for up to six months.
In summary, the use of inhalants – or anything that can cause intoxication – can lead to DUIs in Kentucky. Anyone facing charges for inhalant DUI might want to consider their defense options by consulting with a legal professional. No matter the cause of intoxication, a DUI conviction still leads to a criminal record.