Impaired Iowan, 22, had hundreds of spent canisters in luxury car
FEBRUARY 19–A 22-year-old Iowa woman was driving a Maserati littered with “several hundred” spent canisters of nitrous oxide when the vehicle
was pulled over by police late Monday evening, according to court filings.
When a computer check revealed that the registered owner of the 2014 luxury coupe had a “driving status of Barred,” Iowa City cops approached the vehicle after it pulled into a Kum & Go gas station around 10:45 PM.
Behind the Maserati’s wheel was Ziyuan Zhong, who appeared under the influence. Seen at right, Zhong, cops reported, had “bloodshot, watery eyes, dilated pupils, impaired speech, and impaired balance.”
The source of Zhong’s impairment apparently was scattered about the auto: “There were several hundred spent ‘Whip-It’ brand Nitrous Oxide canisters,” Officer Jeff Reinhard noted. Police also found three dispensers that are used with the canisters (which can be purchased in bulk for about 50 cents each).
Zhong, who was alone in the Maserati, said the car was owned by a friend.
While a breath test reflected no alcohol in Zhong’s system, she showed “measurable impairment” during a series of field sobriety tests. Following a “drug influence evaluation,” police concluded that the Iowa City resident was under the influence of an inhalant.
Zhong reportedly admitted to having used “50-75 canisters” earlier that day, and that she “typically uses upwards of 200 canisters per week.” Cops reported that Zhong said she used the nitrous oxide “because it makes her feel good.”
Zhong was arrested on multiple charges, including driving under the influence, possession of a fake ID, and possession of nitrous oxide. She was booked into the Johnson County jail, where she is being held without bond