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Can drinking too much be a defense in an assault case?

On Behalf of | Oct 9, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Alcohol affects your judgment in multiple ways. Drinking alcohol often leads to the person consuming the alcohol underestimating exactly how impaired they are, sometimes making them think they can keep drinking with no consequences. It can also make minor issues seem major and disinhibit people, making them more likely to make questionable choices. 

Alcohol and physical violence often go hand in hand, especially in social settings. Someone who gets into a disagreement at a party or a bar might get into a fight with the other person, possibly hurting them if things progress to physical violence. If an alcohol-fueled interaction eventually leads to your arrest on assault charges, can you use the fact that you had too much to drink as a defense in court?

Voluntary intoxication is not an affirmative defense

The fact that alcohol affects your behavior is well-known. In some cases, drinking can remove someone’s ability to take legal action on their behalf. Even those with little legal knowledge understand that they may not be able to enforce a contract signed while someone was drunk or even obtain legal consent from someone who has had too much to drink. 

However, when you choose to drink to excess, you knowingly expose yourself to the risks associated with impairment. That includes reduced impulse control and increased emotional volatility. If you drink of your own place, then your intoxication will not be a possible defense against your pending assault charges. 

Learning more about the Michigan criminal justice system will make it easier for you to fight back when you find yourself accused of a crime.