Public Safety

Hundreds of 'Whip-It' containers found in Iowa City woman's car

Ziyuan Zhong
Ziyuan Zhong

IOWA CITY — An Iowa City woman was charged with operating under the influence and other offenses after she admitted to using dozens of cans of inhalants before driving.

According to Iowa City police criminal complaints, Ziyuan Zhong, 22, was seen driving a 2014 Maserati Gran Turismo near Burlington and Gilbert streets at 10:43 p.m. Monday. Police said the vehicle had no front plate and tinted side windows. The registered owner also was shown to be barred from driving.

Police spoke with Zhong when she pulled into a gas station. She had bloodshot, watery eyes, dilated pupils and impaired speech and balance, police said. The officer also noticed “several hundred” used Whip-It brand nitrous oxide containers in Zhong’s vehicle, as well as three dispensers for the canisters, according to criminal complaints. Zhong allegedly admitted using 50 to 75 canisters of nitrous oxide between 3 and 7 p.m. Monday and said she typically uses as many as 200 canisters a week.

Zhong — who initially gave police an Ohio driver’s license not belonging to her because she knew her own license was not valid — showed “substantial measurable impairment” on field sobriety tests, despite a Breathalyzer showing her blood alcohol content to be zero, police said. A drug influence evaluation showed her to be under the influence of a stimulant and unsafe to drive, police said.

Zhong was arrested and faces charges of driving under the influence, possession of nitrous oxide, driving while barred as a habitual offender, providing false identification information and driving with a suspended license.

Comments: (319) 339-3155; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com

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