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Trial pushed back in 'huffing' DUI case

  • Carly Rousso is accused of killing a little girl while driving her vehicle under the influence of inhalants
  • A judge granted attorneys more time to prepare their arguments over the constitutionality of her charges
Trial pushed back in 'huffing' DUI case

A judge is giving attorneys in the case of a young Illinois woman accused of running over and killing a 5-year-old while intoxicated from huffing fumes more time to develop their arguments about the constitutionality of her charges.

A hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, but Judge James Booras continued the proceedings.

He also delayed to February 7 the start of Carly Rousso’s trial, which had been scheduled to begin this month.

Nineteen-year-old Rousso is charged with four counts of aggravated driving under the influence of intoxicating compounds and two counts of reckless homicide in connection with the death of 5-year-old Jaclyn Santos Sacramento. The little girl’s mother and one of her brothers were also severely injured in the crash. They were trying to cross a road on September 3, 2012, when Rousso’s car allegedly struck them.

Rousso has pleaded not guilty to all the charges, and was released from custody on $500,000 bond.

Her attorneys are arguing that the Illinois statute Rousso is being charged with is too vague and violates due process. Prosecutors say Rousso was under the influence of difluorethane, a substance usually contained in a product to clear dust from computers, when her car allegedly struck and killed the little girl.

The substance isn’t listed under the Illinois law, and therefore it must fall under the law’s catch-all provision that states, “any other substance for the propose of inducing a condition of intoxication.”

“Neither the defendant nor any other person of ordinary intelligence can ever know with any certainty whether difluoroethane, or any other substances not named in the Act, are prohibited from use. Therefore, the Act, on its face and as applied in this case, is unconstitutional,” reads the defense motion to dismiss Rousso’s charges.

If convicted, Rousso could be sentenced to 14 years in the department of corrections.

She will be back in court Thursday to ask the judge for permission to leave Illinois, because her bond restrictions say she can't leave the state without asking for permission.

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