Legislation sponsored by Senator Steven Oroho making it illegal to drive under the influence of any amount of a prohibited inhalant, such as glue or aerosol, is now one step closer to becoming law after being passed today by the full Senate.
The bill, S2064, is designated as “Kimmie’s Law” in recognition of Kimberly Goupil, a 16-year-old Hampton Township teen who was killed in a car crash on Aug. 10, 2007 by a driver who police alleged was under the influence of inhalants.
“Kimberly’s death was an avoidable tragedy that no family should have to endure,” said Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris). “Huffing is extremely debilitating and getting behind the wheel while under the influence of any amount of illegal inhalants is inexcusable. This zero tolerance policy gives law enforcement the teeth needed to prosecute those reckless enough to huff and drive and hopefully will keep another family from suffering this same unimaginable pain.”
Under the bill, a driver can be charged with driving under the influence if any amount of a prohibited inhalant is detected in the driver’s blood. The change was requested by law enforcement who testified to the court that they did not have an ability to prosecute the offender for being under the influence of an inhalant because the state’s current DUI statute did not indicate a level at which a person is deemed to be impaired.