Helping You Move Forward After An Accident Or Arrest

Can too much alcohol be a defense against assault charges?

On Behalf of | Jul 7, 2020 | DUI

You can feel instant remorse for mistakes you made while under the influence of alcohol once you sober up. For example, if you got into a fistfight at a party or a bar, you could find yourself in a scenario where you face assault charges. In fact, you can be charged with a crime just for threatening someone while intoxicated.

You may already know that those under the influence of alcohol can’t give informed consent or enter into a contract in most circumstances. Is alcohol impairment a defense against pending criminal charges related to the things that happened while you were under the influence in Georgia?

Most forms of intoxication would not drastically alter someone’s behavior

Using impairment as a defense may seem logical because alcohol or other drugs might provoke you to act in a different manner than you would behave while sober. However, it’s important to note that most drugs, including alcohol, have a disinhibiting effect on your personality as opposed to altering it.

Simply put, alcohol and drugs do make it easier for you to make mistakes, but they won’t necessarily change the way you think or act. Between the knowledge that intoxication doesn’t innately alter someone’s personality and the fact that someone chose to drink despite knowing how it could influence their behavior, Georgia generally does not allow impairment as part of a criminal defense

Sometimes, people don’t realize they have ingested drugs or alcohol because someone else has tricked them. Other times, a person could wind up in a scenario where they face threats or coercion that make them feel compelled to consume alcohol or drugs, possibly well past the point of impairment.

If you can demonstrate to the courts that your intoxication was not voluntary or consensual, you may be able to use your impairment as a defense against behavior while you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Barring that very specific situation, impairment likely won’t play a role in your defense strategy.