There is no denying that this situation is a tragedy for all concerned and that the lives of all involved have been altered. In the wake of this tragedy emotions have run extremely high as to how it was handled and how blame and responsibility should be determined and what punishments meted out.
Ken LaRue, the Lake County State's Attorney's Traffic Division chief believes huffing was involved and that "Eighteen-year-old Carly Rousso was driving a Lexus coupe eastbound in Highland Park. Either before she started driving or once she was underway, she grabbed the canister of dusting spray she'd brought along, put it to her nose, pushed down the nozzle and inhaled. She was instantly filled with a euphoric sensation brought on by a chemical compound in the spray called difluoroethane. Commonly referred to as "huffing," inhaling this compound and others like it causes asphyxiation that users get high from. "At some point," LaRue said, "she passed out." She didn't stop the car as it drifted, first across the lanes going in the opposite the direction."
Many might mistakenly believe that any substance prescribed by a physician that is found in your blood after a traffic incident acts like a "get out of jail free card." You were taking it for medical reasons therefore you hold no fault. Similar to the much joked about "Twinkie Defense", the substance did it, not the person.
Likewise many believe if a psychoactive substance is found in the blood that a person must of ingested it for reasons of getting high; not true. Anyone who has ever worked in the printing industry knows there are all sorts of airborne neurotoxins that enter your bloodstream as a normal by product of hard work without proper equipment. The same can be said for elementary school teachers doing a classroom project with certain magic markers and a large amount of poster board.
Add to this the idea that psychotropics can have unanticipated adverse side effects in minority individuals (ask any African American who has been prescribed anti-psychotics or the older tricyclic antidepressants). I believe I read where Carly has a Latino background? And that these adverse reactions can occur at anytime.
Now consider that very little is actually known about the interactions of certain psychotropics and psychoactives. For instance taking a anti-psychotic with an older antidepressant actually enhances the effect of the tricyclic. Even St. John's Wort (for depression) can have major unintended side effects with other prescribed psychotropics. And I haven't even said anything yet about what can happen in a case where there is a documented history (Carly's previous lawsuit) of PTSD erupting in cognitive dysfunction or at least impairment.
For all the above reasons I believe you begin to see the possibility of "Reasonable Doubt."
So once again I say, there is no denying that this situation is a tragedy for all concerned and that the lives of all involved have been altered and an innocent young girls life has been taken. In the wake of this tragedy emotions have run extremely high as to how it was handled and how blame and responsibility should be determined and what punishments meted out. There is however, reasonable doubt and I would not be surprised to see a plea deal that involved no jail time. The Lake County States Attorney has a very large obstacle to over-come if they are to win a conviction in court. All Carly Rousso's defense team has to do is to introduce a reasonable doubt.