The United States Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that driving under the influence is not equivalent to violent felonies. That means that convictions for DUI do not warrant enhanced prison sentences during the penalty phase of criminal cases.
Whereas the justices agreed that drunk driving can result in bodily harm and death, they found the offense to be different from crimes with purposeful action, such as murder or rape.
The ruling stems from a case involving a New Mexico man with an arrest record for drunk driving. He was found guilty of possession of a gun, which was illegal because of his felony DUI conviction. The prosecutor attempted to invoke the Armed Career Criminal Act to increase the defendant