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Mound man accused of huffing in Minnesota DWI case

Golden Valley, Minnesota authorities have formally charged a man from Mound with driving while impaired related to the alleged use of an inhalant. The Golden Valley Police officer that made the original DWI arrest April 13 claims that the very next day, he just happened to be driving to work when he saw the same vehicle in Minnetonka Beach.

The car was apparently along the side of a road in the weeds being attended to by the Orono Police. The off-duty Golden Valley Police officer called and got connected to the Orono cop at the scene, and the Golden Valley officer told the second cop to look for inhalants.

Authorities in Golden Valley claim that the Mound man had a can of keyboard dusting spray in his car at the time of the initial DWI arrest. The Golden Valley officer claims that a caller reported an erratic driver on Highway 55 near Highway 100. When the officer arrived in the area, he says that he found a car pulled over in the grass along the Highway 55 exit ramp to Highway 100.

The officer claims that the driver appeared to be unconscious with his foot on the brake pedal when the officer checked the car out. Ultimately, the driver was arrested on suspicion of DWI after the officer found the keyboard cleaning spray can in the car.

The man apparently submitted a blood sample. Authorities claim that toxicology tests revealed the presence of 1,1 difluoroethane–allegedly a substance found in the keyboard dusting aerosol can. Formal DWI charges apparently flowed from the Golden Valley toxicology report.

KARE 11 News says that the Orono Police also found keyboard dusting aerosol in the man’s car April 14 after the Golden Valley cop told them to look for it during the alleged police encounter in Minnetonka Beach. Orono Police say that the city prosecutor is reviewing the April 14 traffic stop and no charges have been brought in Orono.

Minneapolis, St. Paul DWI defense lawyers know that the state’s DWI and implied consent laws are expansive. This blog has discussed many issues arising in DWI cases involving allegations of alcohol consumption. Similarly, this blog has discussed drugged driving allegations in Minnesota. But the laws also include a provision for so-called “hazardous substances.”

With the complexity of the DWI statutes and their expansion to other areas, anyone accused of DWI in Minnesota should consider speaking with an experienced DWI defense lawyer for assistance in navigating the intense legal and factual issues that arise in DWI cases.

Source: KARE 11 News, “Driving while huffing cases raise legal questions,” John Croman, June 15, 2012

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