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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 ?
In Birmingham, fans made 20-foot leaps of faith between two buses and girls bared their breasts as wild scenes involving hundreds of sozzled supporters brought the city centre to a standstill.
A SOZZLED reveller went on a night out in Essex - and ended up a grand out of pocket after waking up 900 miles away in Barcelona.
JOE Anderson's myopic vision of Liverpool seems to be a city driven by student accommodation and hotels, offering cheap weekend accommodation for its occupants to wander the city getting sozzled.
bra ACCUSED: She confronts Carol CHEERS: Buster and Carol get sozzled
His wife Valerie, who is constantly sozzled, the editor of a celeb mag and a sexy young newsreader.
Jennifer 8 (Sky Movies Drama, Thursday, 8pm) A FAR cry from Withnail & I, director Bruce Robinson's first big budget US film sank faster than the two large gins and pints of cider ("Ice in the cider") downed by Richard E Grant in that aforementioned sozzled classic.
Just like her character Patsy, Joanna also likes a drink and admits the most sozzled she has ever been was with Stephen in Sicily.
AN emotional Madonna performs under a giant image of estranged son Rocco - dressed as a clown and allegedly sozzled.
As news of the crash filters back to the Street, the residents are appalled, especially Beth who was due to go on the trip but missed out because she was sozzled. Is everyone going to survive - and was Steve partly to blame for the smash?
AS Leeds United's players returned to their London hotel after defeat at Arsenal on Monday night, the last thing they probably wanted to see was a bunch of sozzled journalists at the annual Rugby Union Writers' Club dinner.
Gail even got carried out by a friend she was so sozzled. My source said: "The gang were on fire, drinking loads of beer and wine and loving the show."
I'm still waiting for the long mooted Bryn Terfel and Shane MacGowan team up which I was drunkenly promised when I interviewed the sozzled Pogues singer in a north London pub back in 2005.