If any person profanely curses or swears or is intoxicated in public, whether such intoxication results from alcohol, narcotic drug or other intoxicant or drug of whatever nature, he shall be deemed guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. In any area in which there is located a court-approved detoxification center a law-enforcement officer may authorize the transportation, by police or otherwise, of public inebriates to such detoxification center in lieu of arrest; however, no person shall be involuntarily detained in such center.

(Code 1950, § 18.1-237; 1960, c. 358; 1964, c. 434; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1979, c. 654; 1982, c. 666; 1983, c. 187; 1990, c. 965.)