NEW JERSEY 101.5

Have you ever heard of the growing fad among teens called 'huffing?'

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Huffing is when someone breathes in fumes from aerosol can in order to get high. Currently, drivers who do it can't be charged with driving under the influence. A bill approved by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee yesterday would change that.

"Huffing has become a significant issue, particularly among teen drivers," said bill sponsor state Sen. Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris). "It's something that is extremely debilitating to the brain. A lot of times you cannot function."

The legislation would make it illegal to drive under the influence of any amount of a prohibited inhalant, such as glue or aerosol. The bill is designated as "Kimmie's Law" in honor of Kimberly Goupil, a 16-year-old North Jersey girl who was killed in a car crash on Aug. 10, 2007 by a driver who was under the influence of inhalants.

"They (prosecutors) were not able to charge the driver with being under the influence because inhalants aren't covered under the statutes," explained Oroho. "Under my bill if somebody has evidence of huffing and they have inhalants in their body they could also charge them with under the influence."

Drivers must be put on notice that there will be zero-tolerance when it comes to irresponsible, reckless behavior, according to Oroho.

"No family should have to deal with the tragedy of losing a loved one because of the selfish action of a driver who got behind the wheel while high," said Oroho. "This bill now makes it clear that huffing and driving won't be tolerated at any level."