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Court: Drunk driving not a violent felony

The Supreme Court, in the first of its rulings on Wednesday, decided that drunk driving is not a “violent felony,” at least for purposes of an enhanced prison sentence under the Armed Career Criminal Act. The ruling, written by Justice Stephen G. Breyer, came on a 6-3 vote in Begay v. U.S. (06-11543).

In a second decision on an enhanced sentencing law, the Court ruled that a drug crime that is punishable by more than one year in prison is a “felony drug offense” even if state law classifies it as a misdemeanor. The unanimous ruling came in the case of Burgess v. U.S. (06-11429).

At least one other ruling is still expected this morning.