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The state of an individual whose mind is affected by the consumption of alcohol.

Drunkenness is a consequence of drinking intoxicating liquors to such an extent as to alter the normal condition of an individual and significantly reduce his capacity for rational action and conduct. It can be asserted as a defense in civil and criminal actions in which the state of mind of the defendant is an essential element to be established in order to obtain legal relief.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

DRUNKENNESS. Intoxication with strong liquor.
     2. This is an offence generally punished by local regulations, more or less severely.
     3. Although drunkenness reduces a man to a temporary insanity, it does not excuse him or palliate his offence, when he commits a crime during a fit of intoxication, and which is the immediate result of it. When the act is a remote consequence, superinduced by the antecedent drunkenness of the party, as in cases of delirium tremens or mania a potu, the insanity excuses the act. 5 Mison's R. 28; Amer. Jurist, vol. 3, p. 5-20; Martin and Yeager's. R. 133, 147;. Dane's Ab. Index, h.t.; 1 Russ. on Cr. 7; Ayliffe's Parerg. 231 4 Bl. Com. 26.
     4. As there must be a will and intention in order to make a contract, it follows, that a man who is in such a state of intoxication as not to know what he is doing, may avoid a contract entered into by him while in this state. 2 Aik. Rep. 167; 1 Green, R. 233; 2 Verm. 97; 1 Bibb, 168; 3 Hayw. R. 82; 1 Hill, R. 313; 1 South. R. 361; Bull. N. P. 172; 1 Ves. 19; 18 Ves. 15; 3 P. Wms. 130, n. a; Sugd. Vend. 154; 1 Stark. 126; 1 South. R. 361; 2 Hayw. 394; but see 1 Bibb, R. 406; Ray's Med. Jur. ch. 23, 24; Fonbl. Eq. B. 2, 3; 22 Am. Jur. 290; 1 Fodere, Med. Leg. Sec. 215. Vide Ebriosity; Habitua. drunkard.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Not many people can say an icon such as he was besotted by them - but I can!" Alison, from Birmingham, is a former Big Brother contestant who went on to become a presenter on ITV's This Morning, then starred in Strictly Come Dancing.
Besotted He ordered a hamburger and a Corona Light lager to celebrate before leaving in the early hours.
"Salman is besotted. He asked her within 48 hours of her breakup to marry him.
Just as the besotted cop plucks up the courage to tell him how she really feels, she finds him in despair over the years he may have lost with his daughter.
She said he was besotted by cricket, very interested in it."
WHILE Gavin Henson woos the female vote on this year's Strictly Come Dancing, professional dancer Kristina Rihanoff has revealed she is "besotted" with her partner from the previous series - Welsh World Champion boxer Joe Calzaghe.
OUR police are allegedly now besotted with political correctness.
A MAN twice had a sex with a besotted under-age schoolgirl despite a court order banning him from having any contact.
In an era besotted by conspicuous gestures, it is especially pleasing to see humble or disregarded materials used imaginatively.
'We're the sort of owners who are besotted with our horses, so we brought him home and he's been here ever since.
SHAMED TV star John Leslie has found a replacement for former lover Abi Titmuss -and she is said to be 'completely besotted'.
Throughout, Bellabarba has a wealth of comment, always balanced and judicious, on King James himself, who never degenerates into that overblown picture of a besotted and unkingly man; now he becomes the central focus of the fifth chapter which discusses him as the agent of divine justice who earned great praise for his original initiative in pursuing the lesser murderers to trial and execution, but who became a target for criticism when he commuted the death sentences on the Somersets to imprisonment; efforts to justify the agent of divine mercy were much less successful.