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Bay Area Criminal Defense Blog

Spray Paint and Driving Do Not Mix

Posted by Lynn Gorelick | Apr 10, 2016 | 0 Comments

Drinking and driving can lead to a criminal record for anyone arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. However, under California law, it is a violation to be driving while impaired by any substance, including marijuana, prescription medication, and even toxic fumes. For drivers arrested for huffing spray paint, the evidence may be all over their faces.

Huffing involves inhaling the fumes of various substances. This may involve solvents such as paint thinner, nail polish remover, and felt-tip markers, or aerosols, like spray paint and cans of computer duster. Inhaling chemicals to get high can be dangerous, or even deadly. Huffing can also impair an individual's ability to drive safely, leading to accidents or a DUI arrest.

In the case of drinking and driving, police may see evidence in the form of empty beer cans on the floor, or the smell of alcohol on the driver's breath. In the case of huffing, they may see aerosol cans in the car, and in some cases, evidence of spray paint on the driver's face. As a man in West Virginia found out, police mugshots can capture the image of a suspect with paint around their nose and mouth.

A driver in Maine led police on a low-speed chase before crashing his SUV into a guardrail. When an officer approached the car, the driver pulled out a can of Dust Off computer cleaner, and began inhaling the fumes from the canister. The officer arrested the man for driving under the influence of drugs.

In Tennessee, a woman was arrested for driving under the influence and using paint as an inhalant. A resident called police to report a woman in a car huffing something out of a plastic bag. The driver left the scene, running over a curb, coming to a stop in the middle of a parking lot. When police arrived, they said they smelled paint fumes, and noticed the driver had silver paint on her hands, shirt, and forehead. The police reported slurred speech, and failing field sobriety tests, and subsequently arrested the driver for a DUI. Six cans of silver spray paint were found inside the vehicle.

Officers in Oakland made worldwide news after they arrested a man whose entire body was spray painted gold. While it may have appeared it was a huffing experience gone awry, instead the young man was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs. An off-duty police officer reportedly witnessed a driver hit three vehicles on Eastbound 80. The officer followed the driver to the Central off ramp, when the driver's wheel fell off. The officer described the suspect as being “gold.”

When Oakland CHP arrived, indeed the suspect was reportedly, “covered head to toe in gold spray paint.” The suspect was then arrested on suspicion of hit and run, and driving under the influence of drugs. The gold spray paint was apparently part of a photoshoot.

Whether you are arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or using inhalants, you need the advice of an experienced DUI attorney. At the Gorelick Law Offices, attorney Lynn Gorelick has dedicated her legal career to defending people facing DUI charges in the East Bay. With more than 30 years of experience, Lynn Gorelick understands the local DUI laws, and will make sure you get the justice you deserve. Contact the local East Bay DUI defense attorney who understands that you do not have to plead guilty just because you were arrested.

About the Author

Lynn Gorelick

Lynn Gorelick has been an attorney for 30 years. She is the Attorney Lynn Gorelick is the President of the California DUI Lawyers Association and a Faculty and Sustaining member of the National College of DUI Defense.

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