Changes In The State Statutes

Before the court cases and the federal statutes, simple public intoxication constituted a criminal offense throughout the United States. Following the dramatic legal developments in the courts and in Congress, state and local laws rapidly began to change. Initially in the District of Columbia and in Maryland, and subsequently throughout other parts of the country, the criminal statutes prohibiting simple public intoxication were repealed and replaced with new laws establishing detoxification programs for intoxicated persons and rehabilitation programs for chronic alcoholics. By the early 1990s, more than 67 percent of the states had revised their laws to reflect this change in approach.

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