About Alcoholism - Alcoholism Information, Research and Treatment

To Jail a Drunk or Not: That Is the Question

As this issue of the Grapevine goes to press, the country awaits a ruling from the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of the public-drunkenness conviction of Leroy Powell, a 66-year-old bootblack with about a hundred drunkenness convictions behind him. Powell asked an Austin, Tex., court for medical treatment, but was fined $50 for public drunkenness instead.

He subsequently asked the Supreme Court to declare for the nation at large a new rule of law that says a person has an absolute defense to such a charge if he is a chronic alcoholic.

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