RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia’s attorney general has decided not to appeal a ruling that struck down a state law allowing police to arrest and jail people designated as “habitual drunkards.”
Mark Herring said Friday that he will not appeal the ruling last month by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
In a statement, Herring called the law “strange and regressive” and said Virginia’s General Assembly should have taken it off the books a long time ago. Herring said the state “can find better ways” to address alcohol disorders.
The full appeals court found that the law is unconstitutionally vague, reversing earlier rulings dismissing a lawsuit challenging the law.
The Legal Aid Justice Center argued that the law targets homeless alcoholics and violates the 8th Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.