MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Supreme Court has reversed the impaired driving convictions of a woman who was found slumped over in her car on three occasions after allegedly inhaling compressed air from a can.
The chemical in the can — 1,1-difluoroethane, or DFE — was in the woman’s system. But the Supreme Court overturned her convictions because DFE is not listed as a hazardous substance under Minnesota’s driving-while-impaired statute.
The majority acknowledged this decision means a driver who is dangerously intoxicated by DFE isn’t criminally liable, but they say it’s up to the Legislature to fix.
DFE is found in compressed-air cans used to clean computer keyboards and electronics.
Justice Anne McKeig dissented, saying the law lists hazardous chemical characteristics, and DFE falls under that category even though it’s not mentioned by name.