Further Reading

Can a court sentence you to Antabuse?

Dear Stanton,

A dear friend of mine was just convicted of his second DUI in the state of Colorado. I realize that this friend is an adult and must pay for his mistakes, which he is; however when he told me the stipulations of his court case, I was infuriated! Beyond the jail-time and fines he endured, the court instated a prescription of Antabuse. I've recently done some homework on this drug and find it to be somewhat dangerous. My question to you is: What right does a court of law have in prescribing drugs? There was no doctor involved in this particular descision, only the court had taken the liberty to prescribe, holding an extra 60 days in jail over my friends's head if he refused to ingest the drug. This seems to be extremely unconstitutional, and makes me very angry. If you can shed any light on the court's priviliges I would be grateful!

Chad


Dear Chad:

It's a new one on me, but consistent with other trends. That is, if they can "sentence" you to not drink (confirmed by urine tests), then the next step is to give you a drug that makes you not drink. It is no light thing to digest Antabuse (do you know Keith Moon of the Who died of a reported overdose of Antabuse). Of course, your friend can fight it legally — it could be a big cause celebra. He might also consult a seasoned pharmacologist who could lay out potential problems with this "prescription," and petition the court on the basis of the health dangers Antabuse presents and suggest an alternative on his own — like therapy or urine tests, assuming these are for a time-limited period.

Stanton