State Lawmakers Call for Stronger DWI Laws

March 05, 2018 05:48 PM

A deadly crash in Wisconsin last summer may lead to tougher DWI laws in Minnesota.

Three Minnesota men were killed by a wrong-way driver who was found to be high after huffing a canister of air duster. The crash happened on Interstate 94 in Dunn County last July.

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Huffing and driving is a crime in Wisconsin, but Minnesota's DWI laws don't include DFE, the chemical propellant used in aerosol sprays and gas duster products.

RELATED: Siblings Seek to Close DWI Loophole in Brother's Memory

Clay Kendhammer's brother Adam and two friends were killed in that crash.

"There was nothing accidental about what he did that day," Kendhammer said. 

On Monday, Kendhammer asked lawmakers to change Minnesota DWI laws to include any intoxicating substance, like DFE.

"The longer it takes to change the law, the more likely it is that someone who decided that the lives of the people around them have no value will get stoned out of their mind, go for a ride, kill good and decent people, and never truly be held accountable," he said.

The bills being considered in the State House and Senate define an intoxicating substance as "a drug or chemical, that when introduced into the human body impairs the central nervous system or impairs the human audio, visual, or mental processes."

RELATED: Man Charged in Deadly I-94 Wisconsin Crash

An amendment was added in the Senate version for the same wording to cover the use of snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles and off-road vehicles. If passed, the law would take effect in August.



 

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Kevin Doran

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