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Case Law Update

This issue of NAMSDL Case Law Update focuses on seven recent court decisions addressing state drunk/drugged driving laws issued by the highest courts of Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Utah. Three of the decisions—reaching differing conclusions, interestingly— address the constitutionality of warrantless blood tests performed on unconscious drivers. Two other decisions conclude that statutes prohibiting driving with any “any amount” of controlled substance in the blood stream do not contain an implicit impairment requirement. The remaining cases address the constitutionality of a warrantless urine test and whether the underlying facts of an accident caused by drugged driving can infer malice on the part of the driver. The cases discussed below are listed in reverse chronological order. Read more »

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This issue of the NAMSDL Case Law Update focuses on several recent court decisions, including a federal appellate court and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, involving defendants accused of manufacturing and/or selling novel psychoactive substances. Two of the cases involve assertions by defendants that the statutory language in federal or state controlled substance analogue provisions is unconstitutionally vague. The other two decisions address the calculation of federal sentencing guidelines for synthetic cathinones and a challenge to the sufficiency of a federal indictment for analogue violations. The cases discussed in this issue originate from Maine, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Cases are divided by the type of court (federal or state) and then listed in approximate descending order of appellate level. Read more »

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