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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 ?
Insobriety was not as widespread as in the previous century, yet the proliferation of public houses and the moral turpitude of the nation still appeared to keep temperance advocates awake at night.
Realizing that Manger's work was wrenched from his own personal torment, it appeared that Freedman's only interest in Manger's insobriety was its influence on his work.
The "fact" of European insobriety has been cited last year in letters to The Journal of the American Medical Association and The Washington Post.
Since authorities considered insobriety to be one of the "main reasons for theft" in the trade apparatus, (49) and viewed drunkenness as a sign of a person's lack of kul'turnost', the employment of sober women workers provided clear advantages.
But many historians--French as well as "Anglo-Saxon"--have shown that the violent Revolution arose not out of historical inevitability, but from the indecisive policies of the King's governments, and, especially, from the histrionic insobriety of the critics of these governments.
(151) There are instances where abusers are intoxicated or high when carrying out acts of abuse; however, in most instances the abuse is not limited to these periods of insobriety. Moreover, the abuser is aware of his propensity for belligerence and aggression when inebriated and such foresight could constitute the intent element envisaged by the Convention against Torture.
Even so, there is an extraordinary sentence in Economic Management which invites fiscal irresponsibility, and one cannot help wondering whether the Reagan induced US deficits of the same time generated an unfortunate degree of insobriety.