A 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday overturned Virginia’s habitual drunkard law as unconstitutional. In an 8-7 decision, the judges reversed a lower court judge’s dismissal of a suit that alleged the law targets homeless alcoholics because of their status as homeless and suffering from a disease that compels them to possess alcohol rather than a crime.
Meanwhile, a bill allowing drinkers to walk out of a restaurant carrying an alcoholic beverage, walk around with that beverage and into another establishment, that’s not a restaurant, is now legal in Virginia as long as it’s done during appropriately licensed events and in designated areas. The legislation passed the Virginia General Assembly this year.