Colorado law re "Abusing Toxic Vapors"
(18-18-412 C.R.S.)

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Photo courtesy the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency

Colorado's law against “huffing”

Section 18-18-412 of the Colorado Revised Statutes makes it unlawful to knowingly:

  • Smell or inhale the fumes of toxic vapors for the purpose of causing a condition of euphoria, excitement, exhilaration, stupefaction, or dulled senses of the nervous system,
  • Possess, buy, or use any such substance for the purposes described above, or 
  • Knowingly aid any other person to use any such substance for such purposes.

You do not abuse toxic vapors, however, if you inhale anesthesia or other substances for medical or dental purposes.

What constitutes a “toxic vapor” under Colorado law?

For the purposes of Colorado's law on abusing toxic vapors, the term “toxic vapors” means the following substances or products containing such substances:

  • Alcohols, including methyl, isopropyl, propyl, or butyl;
  • Aliphatic acetates, including ethyl, methyl, propyl, or methyl cellosolve acetate;
  • Acetone;
  • Benzene;
  • Carbon tetrachloride;
  • Cyclohexane;
  • Freons, including freon 11 and freon 12;
  • Hexane;
  • Methyl ethyl ketone;
  • Methyl isobutyl ketone;
  • Naphtha;
  • Perchlorethylene;
  • Toluene;
  • Trichloroethane; or
  • Xylene.

Colorado huffing penalties

Abusing toxic vapors is a Colorado level 2 drug misdemeanor.

As a first offense, huffing can be punished by a fine of $250-$1,000.

Consequences of a second or subsequent offense for abusing toxic inhalants can, however, also include 3-12 months in jail.

Defenses to Colorado huffing charges

Common defenses to charges of abusing toxic vapors include (but are not limited to):

  • You didn't knowingly violate any provisions of Colorado's law on toxic vapors,
  • You weren't inhaling the toxic vapors for the purpose of getting high, or
  • The police entrapped you or found the toxic substance as the result of an illegal search.

Call us for help…

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If you or someone you know has been charged with huffing or a violation of other Colorado drug laws, we invite you to contact our caring Colorado criminal defense lawyers for a free consultation.

We treat every case with the attention and respect it deserves – whether it's for misdemeanor drug possession or use or for felony charges of narcotics trafficking.

We can be reached using the confidential form on this page or by phone at our Denver home office:

Colorado Legal Defense Group
1400 16th Street
16 Market Square
Denver CO 80202
720-955-6112

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