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Alcohol and Home Defense

Discussion in 'Legal' started by lpsharp88, Mar 6, 2013.

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  1. lpsharp88

    lpsharp88 Member

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    I was curious if the presence of alcohol in your system after a home defense situation had an adverse effect? My question involves two different scenarios:

    1. My BAC is between .01 and the legal limit (.08 in most cases).
    2. My BAC is over the legal limit (>.08 in most cases)

    Specifically: Does the presence of alcohol in my system make proving self defense tougher? Assuming that I am cleared by the police of any wrongdoing, does the presence of alcohol in my system make me more susceptible to losing a civil case?

    I definitely don't anticipate this happening, it is just something that I have always wondered about.
     
  2. Sport45

    Sport45 Member

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    The closer to 0.0 you are the better off you'll be. It may affect a civil case if they can determine (or cause others to suspect) your ability to discern a real threat was compromised.

    In this case I strongly recommend appointing a designated defender and not having firearms accessible to the drinkers.

    Guns and alcohol don't mix. Ever.
     
  3. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    Typically, no, but it does depend on the political climate in your locale. It all depends on what the alcohol content can be implied to have influenced you to have done in the time leading up to the event.
     
  4. Tomcat47

    Tomcat47 Member

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    0 Would be best bet!

    I like the "designated defender" Sport45! :D Thats a good one!

    And you also have to worry about the news etc. from getting a hold of the fact you had a beer, then digging up a picture of the perpetrator riding a tricycle when he was 10 years old....

    Headline:

    DRUNKEN GUNS RIGHTS ADVOCATE SHOOTS INNOCENT CHILD :uhoh:
     
  5. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Does anyone have any proof that a "good shoot" in the home has resulted in civil losses due to BAC, or is this all conjecture?

    John
     
  6. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    When that type of case is investigated,all factors are in play. Alcohol in your system could be a problem but the bigger issue is if your actions fall with-in
    the "stand your ground" perimeters .
     
  7. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    You still have the right to self-defense when you are drunk. The problem COULD BE, how well do you recall the details? How well can you articulate why you had no other option? Does someone else's story sound more coherent than yours? Do the police have something more to work with than one body with holes in it, and another body still breathing vodka fumes?
     
  8. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Anything can happen in a civil suit. Like OJ's first pass through the system, acquitted on two counts of murder. 3 years later lost the civil case because of a preponderance of evidence to hold him liable for damages, of the people he was acquitted of killing...
     
  9. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    But some states make a civil suit much more difficult than others. In Utah, if you are 'no billed' for a criminal charge in a self-defense case, you are immune from civil liability.
     
  10. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    So, if I'm having a couple of beers with my order-in pizza when the guy breaks in, and the worst case scenario proves unavoidable, I'm going to have a tougher time defending myself because I was doing something completely legal when I had to pull the trigger?

    If that's the case, then a person who keeps a firearm for home defense better not have a drink at home, ever.
     
  11. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    I am interested in hearing responses to this as well. I don't typically drink much alcohol, but I do know that in the world of litigation, the prosecution will try to use anything they can to thwart a defense of a good shoot.

    As you say, drinking alcohol while in your own home is LEGAL. Is defending yourself while performing a legal act, illegal, or at the very least open you up to more risk of prosecution, and having to spend money in legal fees for defense?

    Another question. Is intoxication (BAC above .08) in the home legal while handling a firearm for self defense purposes? I am sure this is a state, by state issue, but it does beg the question, should you allow yourself to be legally intoxicated even in your own home? Hmmm.
     
  12. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    It is an interesting thought.
    I don't see where having a few drinks in your own home would have anything to do with whether or not a crime was comitted, but then again, I'm not the one calling the shots.
    Another question is, even if you have been drinking a little, if you're not obviously intoxicated, would they even test you? I don't know.
     
  13. JFtheGR8

    JFtheGR8 Member

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    I'm no attorney. I would say if an intruder broke in to your home and you had reason to believe your life was in danger (they were presenting a weapon) then you have a right to defense BAC or not. Just make sure the intruder can't testify to the contrary (ie dead). So if alcohol is going to impair your ability to permanently decommission said intruder then stay sober. It's sad to say but a civil suit brought by the deceased's family would cost less than one from a permanently disabled would be thief/rapist/murderer. Yes, I realize Castle Doctrine in some states allows for deadly force whether the intruder is armed or not but that wasn't mentioned in the OP.


    Posted from Thehighroad.org App for Android
     
  14. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    Let's say that based on my professional knowledge and experience I would expect in a close case that any use by the actor of any drug or substance which affects judgment and/or perception to be a potential issue.

    Claiming self defense puts the actor's judgment and perception at issue. The actor's use of alcohol, marijuana, or even prescription medication which could impair his judgment or perception will raise a question of the reasonableness of his assessment that there was a threat warranting a response with lethal force.

    Of course a lot depends on exactly what happened and how it happened. If all the evidence is consistent and firmly establishes that under the circumstances the justification for the use of lethal force was clear, alcohol/drug use won't be an issue. But to the extent that the evidence suggests that the actor may have overreacted, misunderstood the situation, made a significant mistake in his assessment of the need for force, or used excessive force, alcohol of drug use could become an issue.

    Maybe a few drinks won't hurt you in court, but it sure isn't going to help.
     
  15. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    Well now there's a sticky wicket. A person who's on some sort of prescription meds can expect to have that come into play when he or she has to defend his or her life? Some prosecutor is going to insist that he or she was impaired and therefore could not have known beyond doubt that his or her life was in danger?

    Imagine the courtroom scenario:

    Pros: "So, Mr. X, you're an expert on the possible side-effects of [insert med]. Is there any possibility, no matter how remote, that the defendant's regular dosage of [insert med] could have been, at the time when she ruthlessly blew away my client's sweet little teenage son for no reason, compromised to any small degree in her ability to know right from wrong?"

    PD: "I object to this characterization."

    Judge: "Sustained. The prosecution will refrain from such characterizations; the jury will disregard."

    Yeah, sure it will.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
  16. Mayvik

    Mayvik Member

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    If you're bombed, try throwing up or soiling yourself. The intruder will likely flee.
     
  17. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    Just make sure the intruder can't testify to the contrary (ie dead).

    Well it started out being informative thread before it turned to tripe like this.
     
  18. JFtheGR8

    JFtheGR8 Member

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    So, you use deadly force to wound? I don't think that would fly. That's my thought on what I posted. If you're impaired the slightest bit a prosecutor will have a field day with you and make you responsible for the long term care of your would be attacker. Sorry i didn't phrase it to your liking. Tripe? Your opinion and you know what they say about those.


    Posted from Thehighroad.org App for Android
     
  19. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    No, we wouldn't use deadly force to wound. Nor would we use deadly force to kill. We would use it to stop the immediate threat to our lives or the lives of innocents.

    This is The High Road. We don't advocate intentionally killing someone. We advocate stopping threats.

    Talking about making sure someone is dead is not only low road, but it's chest thumping BS talk.
     
  20. JFtheGR8

    JFtheGR8 Member

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    Not advocating killing, didn't mean to make it sound as such. Using deadly force to stop a threat IS attempting to kill your attacker since your target would be vital organs in the chest and/or head. Of course once the threat is neutralized you no longer would be justified to continue with deadly force. I by no means meant you should stand over the perp and pump more rounds into them. If you're impaired or an attorney can influence a jury of such you very well could end up paying for the long term care of someone you made into a paraplegic/quadriplegic, etc... That could be regardless of how the scenario started. Like I said, I'm no attorney but this is what came to mind when reading the OP. Sorry to offend anyone but I sometimes don't quite get my point across effectively.


    Posted from Thehighroad.org App for Android
     
  21. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    If that's your perspective, then please think of it as stopping force vice deadly force. A defensive shot is taken only to end the threat. If the attacker dies, so be it, but we don't shoot to kill.
     
  22. JFtheGR8

    JFtheGR8 Member

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    Point taken. That's why I'm here, to learn and grow.


    Posted from Thehighroad.org App for Android
     
  23. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Think of it how you will, but each state covers it differently. To wit, in Arizona it's known as Deadly Physical Force.
    If I have two beers and end up being forced to use deadly physical force to defend my life or the life of a third person as allowed by law, the actions of the suspect and my actions will be judged under the harsh white light of a jury trial, most likely, (unlike most politicians), and I will face that music when it plays.
    As to civil trials, if I am acquitted of the criminal charges or the actions are deemed justified without trial, the Arizona State Constitution now forbids any criminal family/estate from suing me in civil court.
     
  24. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    It might sound like a ridiculous distinction (And it may well BE so,) but the difference is intent. Shooting someone to kill them is murder. Using deadly force to prevent someone else from killing you may well result in death, but the intent is different. It's also why we tell people not to call 911 and say; "I just shot someone." We say; "There has been a shooting." It's stupid, but it's not our fault we have to do it this way.
     
  25. dmckean44

    dmckean44 Member

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    How would they know? It's not a traffic stop, they're not going to make you blow.
     
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