A Verdant Verdict

I had the pleasure of conversing with one of my very favorite people today. While we were catching up, she told me about her recent experience at a wedding wherein one of her husband’s friends drank too much and spent the whole evening grabbing her derriere.

She was less than ecstatic about the whole thing and her husband, well, let’s just say his friend’s derriere is more likely to be getting kicked than grabbed in the future.

This got me thinking about the “Drunk Defense.” You know the old standby “I was drunk so I can’t be held accountable for anything I did last night” shtick. I’m really conflicted about this concept.

When I’m drunk, and I have been every kind of drunk (my parents are so proud right now,) I’m still perfectly aware of what I’m doing. Alcohol certainly lowers my inhibitions, and makes it harder for me to hear my good ol’ reliable superego, but it in no way removes my inhibitions. I still know I’m married (and have, in fact, been known to be quite vociferous about my adoration for my husband) and I’m still me. Just a more giggly, collapsible me.

On this basis, I have to reject the “Drunk Defense.” Unless someone is drunk enough that they’re blacked out (even in the blacked-out state, I have to assume they still know what they’re doing, even if they won’t remember it later. This is just an assumption, though, that can’t really be proven by me alone, for obvious reasons), they still know what they’re doing and likely won’t do anything while drunk that they didn’t already want to do.

Further supporting this theory is the fact that in getting drunk, the person has put themselves in a position to do things they may regret and, as such, still must take full accountability for their actions. So, Grabby McGropes-A-Lot from the beginning of the post is still completely responsible for his actions even though he was drunk.

Playing Devil’s Advocate, however, means admitting that alcohol affects everyone differently. While I may be capable of conscious thought while inebriated, not everyone in the world is likely to be in this same boat. So, in some people’s case, the “Drunk Defense” still stands, though they must still take the onus upon themselves for imbibing in the first place.

In the case of The Married Women vs. Drunk Bad Touch Man, how do you, the jury, find the defendant?

3 thoughts on “A Verdant Verdict

  1. I am of the firm opinion that while alcohol lowers inhibitions, impairs decision making abilities, and completely removes both content-filter and volume-control from the brain-mouth interface, that blaming your behavior on alcohol is lame. I personally believe that anything people do while drunk is something they wanted to do, and they use the fact that they’re “so wasted right now, dude!” as an excuse, if just to themselves. It also makes a handy thing the next day when you regret your behavior.

    If anything, it may help you forget momentarily the reasons that you don’t want to do or say something so that you momentarily think it is a great idea to do or say those things. It removes filters, is all. I don’t believe it causes you to do something that you would not at least WANT to do sober.

    Example: While sober I might think it would be fun to jump off a pier down onto the beach 20 feet below. But I think about the consequences and realize that the risk (injury or death) is not worth the reward (how flippin sweet it would be to jump onto the beach!). However, when I have been drinking, the decision matrix fails, I discount the risk factor and follow through. But the bottom line is that I would have WANTED to jump while sober, I just would have come to the conclusion that it was a bad bad idea. Which it was.

    The only defense this dude has is that sometimes the inebriation can make things funnier. MUCH funnier. He probably thought he was being hilarious and saw no reason why everyone else, including the grabee and grabee’s husband, wouldn’t think it was hilarious as well to do his lobster-boy routine on her derriere. But regardless, he definitely wanted to do some grabbing.

  2. It’s her fault for not decking him the first try.

    I don’t get girls, if a guy grabbed my ass (and I was a girl) and I didn’t want him to, he’d be on the floor bleeding, potentially from his crotch.

    Problem solved

  3. -Dane, I totally agree that people don’t do anything when they’re drunk that they didn’t want to do sober. I liked the jumping off the pier example, too. ‘Tis a good one.

    -Matt, so you think she’s responsible because she didn’t greet him with the pointy toe of justice, huh? That’s an interesting point of view you’ve got going there. There’s something about being raised as a woman in America that makes it very hard to be so fierce, though. It’s like we’re conditioned to be passive. As a man you may have kicked Drunk Guy but as a lady you’d probably just be uncomfortable about it and then talk about it later with friends.

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