Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Direct Observation of Drug Test Not a Violation of Fourteenth Amendment, says Sixth Circuit

Norris asserts that conditions of his pretrial release amount to an unreasonable search in violation of the Fourth Amendment when a drug testing company, Premier, required him to provide a urine sample while directly facing a Premier employee. Premier used this “direct observation” method for monitoring the provision of the sample because of the ease with which persons giving a sample could otherwise evade the requirement of supplying a valid one. The district court held that Premier’s method of obtaining the urine sample did not constitute an unreasonable search inviolation of the Fourth Amendment. The Sixth Circuit Affirms.

The dissent notes, "the possibility of cheating should not justify every precaution that the state deems efficacious. By reaching the opposite conclusion, the majority unravels Fourth Amendment protections for pretrial releasees."

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