Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Alleged Huffing Leads To Arrest For DUI Manslaughter

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- It's a DUI case that could be a landmark. A University of Central Florida student was arrested, not for drinking or using drugs, but for huffing.
Investigators said 20-year-old Malcolm Barnes was behind the wheel in a crash that killed a motorcyclist on Alafaya Trail in east Orange County last October
Barnes was arrested for DUI manslaughter on Friday afternoon. Detectives knew the UCF student was high when he went the wrong way down Alafaya Trail and threw 19-year-old Andrew Brannon off his motorcycle and dragged him to his death in October.
Investigators didn't find any drugs or alcohol in his system, but a homicide detective did find two aerosol cans of dust remover and rag in the back seat of his car
"She came to the conclusion he must have been under the influence of the inhalant," said Kim Miller, Florida Highway Patrol.
It's called huffing.
"You spray or soak a rag with substance and apply it to your nose and inhale the substance," explained Dr. Karl Seig.
Seig works with addiction patients. He's recently seen a spike in huffing cases. It may seem harmless, but inhaling the toxins cause brain damage and sometimes death.
Detectives said Barnes had no idea he had hit Brannon. That's why he dragged the teen 300 feet before stopping.
Barnes' father covered his son's head as he was taken into jail.
This is the first DUI manslaughter case connected with huffing. Investigators hope that sends the message that it is a dangerous drug.

From Florida