Virginia’s Habitual Drunkard Law Repealed With Governor’s Signature
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam says an archaic law criminalizing people for being homeless or suffering from addiction has been repealed following the Governor’s signature of House Bill 923. With the Governor’s approval the law repeals a state law that allowed police to arrest and jail an individual declared a habitual drunkard by a court if that person possesses alcohol or is publicly intoxicated. The law was previously declared unconstitutional last year in a federal appeals court ruling. Northam says the previous law punished people without helping them and added there are far better ways to address addiction in the Commonwealth.