DUI cases involving DFE use are common. Read below to learn about DFE and operating while intoxicated.
What is DFE?
DFE is shorthand for the chemical 1,1-difluoroethane. Users of DFE most often find the chemical in the aerosol spray Dust-Off, which is a product used for cleaning electronic equipment such as keyboards and computers.
What Are The Effects of DFE?
DFE use can provide a short but intense euphoria. Side-effects of DFE use include disorientation, dizziness, loss of motor control, memory loss, and loss of consciousness. These side-effects could impair a person’s ability to drive.
Driving Under the Influence of DFE
It is against the law to drive while under the influence of DFE. Drug Recognition Experts are on the lookout for drivers who may be under the influence of inhalants. Signs the Drug Recognition Experts are looking for include drivers who have intense headaches, flushed face, bloodshot and watery eyes, lack of muscle control, odor of substances, are non-communicative, have disorientation, slurred speech, confusion, possible nausea, and residue of a substance around nose and mouth.
Court Cases Involving DFE
Several higher level courts in different states have discussed driving under the influence of DFE.
The Montana Supreme Court ruled that inhalant chemicals such as DFE were drugs for the purposes of the state’s DUI laws. Read our blog post on State of Montana v. Pinder for more.
The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that DFE was not a drug under its DUI laws, ruling that inhalants were not a listed substance under the law. Read our blog post on Minnesota v. Carson to understand why.
The Wisconsin Court of Appeals decided that DFE was not an intoxicant under its OWI law. Read the ArborYpsi Blog Post on Wisconsin v. Torbeck for more information.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court found sufficient malice to uphold a murder charge where a woman who knew the effects of DFE had huffed DFE minutes before a fatal crash. Read our article on Commonwealth v. Packer to see the Court’s reasoning.
Michigan Law on DFE
DFE is not illegal to possess in Michigan. In fact, you can purchase Dust-Off or other aerosol sprays from stores. It is illegal to use DFE to get high in Michigan. DFE is only one substance used as an inhalant to get high. There are many other chemicals used to huff that are found in paints, glues, refrigerants, propellants, and gasses.
Sam Bernstein is a Michigan OWI Lawyer.
ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.