Last week, a Highland Park teenager pleaded not guilty to charges of reckless homicide and aggravated DUI. According to police, the teen was inhaling fumes from a computer cleaning product while driving when she careened onto the sidewalk and struck and killed a five year old girl. The girl's mother and two siblings were also injured in the crash.
This activity, known as “huffing,” occurs when a person inhales certain household products to obtain a temporary high. Although quite dangerous on its own, this tragic accident shows that users may be huffing while driving, an unquestionably deadly combination.
As a car accident attorney in Chicago, I have seen how impaired driving leads to deadly accidents. Any level of impairment on any substance reduces a driver's ability to safely drive. It is simply selfish of intoxicated drivers to put the lives of innocent drivers at stake because they believe they can “handle their buzz.” I hope that the aggressive criminal prosecution of this teenager serves as a stern warning to others who might consider huffing and driving.