New York State Court of Appeals
Drug and Alcohol Abuse — Clear and Convincing Evidence
People v. Palmer; People v. Long
Nos. 14 & 15
Background: On appeal was the question of the extent of proof necessary to constitute clear and convincing evidence of drug or alcohol abuse under the Sex Offender Registration Guidelines. In both cases the defendants admitted to being intoxicated when they sexually assaulted their victims, but denied having a drug and alcohol problem.
Ruling: The Court of Appeals held that in neither case did the people meet their burden of proof. There was no evidence in the records of either case as to whether the defendants drank to excess. The admission of social drinking is not proof of alcohol abuse.
No. 14: Anna Pervukhin for the appellant; Adam M. Koelsch for the respondent; No 15: Vincent F. Gugino for the appellant; David A. Heraty for the respondent