ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — At the federal level in the United States, nitrous oxide (NOS) is not illegal to use in cars, but regulations about its use can vary from state to state.

Nitrous oxide is a chemical compound that can be used to make a car go faster for use in race or track situations, by routing the gas into the intake manifold, and mixing with the fuel and air in the engine.

It’s been known as NOS, the initials of the company that sells it for racing applications, Nitrous Oxide Systems, Inc.

Illinois’ nitrous oxide laws are more concerned with the gas’ use as an intoxicant rather than for automotive use. The gas, also known as “laughing gas”, can cause feelings of intoxication, euphoria, or dizziness if inhaled.

The Illinois Criminal Code (720 ILCS 5/24.5-5) makes possession of nitrous oxide for the intent of breathing or inhaling it illegal.

According to Low Offset, Illinois permits the transportation of NOS cylinders, as long as the valves are shut. In Illinois, nitrous is meant for “off road use” only.

So use of nitrous on the street will likely get you in trouble, but you could still legally use it as a performance enhancer on the track.