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Thread: Carrying and Alcohol

  1. #1
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    Carrying and Alcohol

    If you beat up somebody in self-defense or in defense of another after you've consumed alcohol, the issue is still whether your action was reasonably necessary for your defense or the defense of a third person. Even if you're drunk, you have a right to defend yourself.

    If you've been drinking, and someone breaks into your home and you shoot him, the level of your intoxication doesn't figure -- it's just a matter of whether a "reasonable person" would have been justified in shooting him.

    Now you're at the Market Street Cafe. You and your wife have polished off a cocktail, then a bottle of wine with dinner, and a Bad Guy comes in with a gun to rob the clientele. He shoots a waiter and two customers.

    You're not allowed to put a hole in him to defend yourself and your wife? You can attack him with a fork, but not a gun?

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    IANAL, but it seems a grey area to me.

    Personally, if it comes down to that, I will empty my pistol into the BG if it means saving lives... mine and my family's in particular... and deal with the explanation later.

    I would rather live to face charges...

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    Regular Member rodbender's Avatar
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    It is better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

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    There are two legal theories that might come into play. The first is that of "competing necessities" - committing the crime of shooting while intoxicated in order to prevent/stop the more serious crime of murder. The other is 'excusability", which is very much like the first except that you admit to committing the crime but then claim there is a reason you should be excused from being punished.

    Reading a good law dictionary might be a good start on understanding the basics.

    Many will question the "common sense"-ness of going armed if you knew you were going to be drinking. Many will suggest that you must make certain sacrifices when armed to both stay on the right side of the law and to maintain "proper appearances".

    stay safe.

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    The problem with that defense would be that saying "a reasonable man would have..." will be at odds with having carried while under the influence.

    If a jury is really struggling with borderline reasonability, being under the influence could tip the scales toward a guilty verdict.

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    You have an inherent right to self defense

    Quote Originally Posted by LeagueOf1291 View Post
    If you beat up somebody in self-defense or in defense of another after you've consumed alcohol, the issue is still whether your action was reasonably necessary for your defense or the defense of a third person. Even if you're drunk, you have a right to defend yourself.

    If you've been drinking, and someone breaks into your home and you shoot him, the level of your intoxication doesn't figure -- it's just a matter of whether a "reasonable person" would have been justified in shooting him.

    Now you're at the Market Street Cafe. You and your wife have polished off a cocktail, then a bottle of wine with dinner, and a Bad Guy comes in with a gun to rob the clientele. He shoots a waiter and two customers.

    You're not allowed to put a hole in him to defend yourself and your wife? You can attack him with a fork, but not a gun?
    Anytime you put down a madman who is shooting up someplace you've got a pretty valid self defense argument in the courts, regardless of intoxication level. I would add that alcohol and firearms don't mix as a general rule, and if you're sloshed it is going to make it that much harder to hit your target in a stressful situation. Hope and pray that you don't accidentally hit one of the other patrons. Manslaughter and negligent homicide charges are no fun.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    Setting aside the legal, moral and practical reasons for not drinking and carrying. I feel the best argument against the practice is liability which could be wide open even if nothing goes wrong. That one was drinking gives a lawyer a hook into the good guy in a civil suit. Would you pay $500,000 for a cocktail? Well you might if you shoot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by longwatch View Post
    Would you pay $500,000 for a cocktail? Well you might if you shoot.
    How much is your wife's life worth? Which would be easier, to live without her, or to suffer hypothetical incarceration/impoverishment while she's alive?

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    Regular Member rodbender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
    How much is your wife's life worth? Which would be easier, to live without her, or to suffer hypothetical incarceration/impoverishment while she's alive?
    Another one of those Dougisms that I love so much.

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    Is it worth it?

    I decided shortly after I started carrying that I wouldn't be drinking again. Ever. My firearms instructor advised me not to and why. I never drank much anyway, but I don't believe that drinking, even with dinner, and driving home after, while you are carrying, mix very well. You don't even have to use your gun. If you are in an accident and someone is seriously injured or killed, you may be found at fault simply because you have alcohol in your system. If you are found at fault, not only of drinking and driving, but of killing someone, not only will you go to prison, but you will never own a firearm again. Is that worth a glass of wine with dinner?
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    ive noticed many people on this forum have decided drinking and guns dont mix... i understand this, but i reject it on a personal level.

    in WA state its not illegal to be under the influence of alchohol while shooting. so when i decide to go camping i will bring guns and beer. yes, i drink and shoot at the same time (im just a bad person... i guess)! however, me and my friends have been doing this since we were 16 (9 years) and we know when its time to put the guns down due to alchohol intake.

    will it hurt you in a self defence case... yes, should you be required to be sober all the time because you have a gun... no (varies from person to person). lifes full of risks and if you dont relax and enjoy yourself from time to time you will end up in a mental home.

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    This situation continues to be discussed here to no end. Maybe the threads should be stickied.

    So first off- outside of the home- you shouldn't put 1 and 1 together. Either you're having a beer- unarmed.. Or you're armed- and having a soda that night.

    Inside the home- you're going to be just fine in a self defense shooting. If it's 11pm- you've already had a beer or two while watching a movie... Someone busts through the front door with a knife to rob you...

    Defend yourself.. You won't be to busy thinking about whether or not you may or can or lawfully will be justified. You'll simply defend yourself and that will be that. I'm not even sure alcohol will be a factor if the self defense shooting took place in your own home.

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    Matt85

    Why do you have to have a beer? Why not a soda? Oh you like the taste? Have a Non-Alcoholic.

    Face it.. you're saying you want to have alcohol because you want to get that funny feeling from a cup or two of 5%+

    And we're saying.. you shouldn't seek that funny feeling while carrying a loaded handgun.

    That's all. Please, consider this- and offer a counter. Thank you, Sir.


    But then again.. you'll always have the guys that say "Oh I don't feel anything from just one or two beers."

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    You feel safe getting intoxicated with your loaded rifle/shotgun standing up in the corner between the door and the wall...

    But you are not okay with getting intoxicated with your loaded pistol in a holster on your hip?

    Either way; you have easy access to a loaded firearm while under the influence of alcohol

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    My father used to claim that he knew when he was too drunk to drive. The DWIs and "accidents" made the real truth known.

    The real demon in alcohol is that, as it impairs your judgment, it also impairs your ability to evaluate your judgment.

    I have no faith in anyone's ability to decide, while drinking, whether or not they are too impaired for an activity.

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    I totally agree that drinking and carrying is a bad idea. The thing is, though, it's already illegal to kill someone without good reason (like self-defense). Whether you're intoxicated or sober doesn't change that. If you're sober and kill someone unlawfully, it's unlawful. If you're drunk and kill someone lawfully, it's lawful.

    I would counsel people not to drink and carry, but I wouldn't by statute deprive them of the means of defending themselves just because they had alcohol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeagueOf1291 View Post
    I totally agree that drinking and carrying is a bad idea. The thing is, though, it's already illegal to kill someone without good reason (like self-defense). Whether you're intoxicated or sober doesn't change that. If you're sober and kill someone unlawfully, it's unlawful. If you're drunk and kill someone lawfully, it's lawful.

    I would counsel people not to drink and carry, but I wouldn't by statute deprive them of the means of defending themselves just because they had alcohol.
    Whether or not one has a valid claim for self-defense is going to revolve around intent. If someone's judgment is impaired, their intent is also in question. In a close call, being under the influence will work against one's defense of self-defense and could result in tipping the scales for conviction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt85 View Post
    ive noticed many people on this forum have decided drinking and guns dont mix... i understand this, but i reject it on a personal level.

    in WA state its not illegal to be under the influence of alchohol while shooting. so when i decide to go camping i will bring guns and beer. yes, i drink and shoot at the same time (im just a bad person... i guess)! however, me and my friends have been doing this since we were 16 (9 years) and we know when its time to put the guns down due to alchohol intake.

    will it hurt you in a self defence case... yes, should you be required to be sober all the time because you have a gun... no (varies from person to person). lifes full of risks and if you dont relax and enjoy yourself from time to time you will end up in a mental home.
    Oh yea...Booze and Guns are almost as good a mix as booze and cars.

    I do not drink when carrying....period...so as a result I don't drink because I am always packing. Alcohol slows the mental process, slows your reflexes and impairs jugdment....you wouldn't drink and drive would you? Why on earth would you carry and drink.....lad that don't make sense.

    Steve
    Last edited by .45acp; 08-24-2010 at 11:31 PM.
    Steve


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    Quote Originally Posted by cscitney87 View Post
    Matt85

    Why do you have to have a beer? Why not a soda? Oh you like the taste? Have a Non-Alcoholic.

    Face it.. you're saying you want to have alcohol because you want to get that funny feeling from a cup or two of 5%+

    And we're saying.. you shouldn't seek that funny feeling while carrying a loaded handgun.

    That's all. Please, consider this- and offer a counter. Thank you, Sir.


    But then again.. you'll always have the guys that say "Oh I don't feel anything from just one or two beers."
    ill answer your questions in the order you asked them.
    1. i dont have to have beer but i do enjoy them.
    2. because soda is not beer. if you wanted a glass of water would you drink coffee instead?
    3. i love the taste of beer, if you believe non-alchoholic beer tastes any thing like beer then you havent tried many beers. however if you can find me a non-alchoholic beer that tastes like an Estonian porter then i will cease to drink alchohol.

    A: while i do enjoy a light buzz, its not always the reason i drink. i love fine imported porters!

    B: i see no problem in carrying a firearm with a light buzz, but i do have and issue with playing with firearms any time you are no longer able to make rational decisions. if having a buzz renders you unable to make rational decisions then you should not drink alchohol!

    i dont expect any one to agree with every thing i do. but i dont like how many people in the OCDO seem to think alchohol is "evil" and if you drink it then you will automatically do bad/stupid things. seems like no one here has ever heard of moderation or self control.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt85 View Post
    ill answer your questions in the order you asked them.
    1. i dont have to have beer but i do enjoy them.
    2. because soda is not beer. if you wanted a glass of water would you drink coffee instead?
    3. i love the taste of beer, if you believe non-alchoholic beer tastes any thing like beer then you havent tried many beers. however if you can find me a non-alchoholic beer that tastes like an Estonian porter then i will cease to drink alchohol.

    A: while i do enjoy a light buzz, its not always the reason i drink. i love fine imported porters!

    B: i see no problem in carrying a firearm with a light buzz, but i do have and issue with playing with firearms any time you are no longer able to make rational decisions. if having a buzz renders you unable to make rational decisions then you should not drink alchohol!

    i dont expect any one to agree with every thing i do. but i dont like how many people in the OCDO seem to think alchohol is "evil" and if you drink it then you will automatically do bad/stupid things. seems like no one here has ever heard of moderation or self control.

    Matt, I haven't heard anyone call alcohol "evil" on this thread, and no, you are not going to automatically do bad/stupid things. What I have heard is people sounding concerned for your well being, both physical and legal. Like it or not, alcohol DOES impair your judgement. It also slows down your reflexes. And it IS a factor in any kind of scenario or situation from a car accident to a self defense shooting. I don't think anyone is trying to tell you what to do, just being concerned and offering alternatives, and trying to explain to you what a risk you are taking. Drinking and driving is bad enough but doing so while carrying a firearm is asking for trouble. Why not enjoy your beer at home and invite a couple of buddies over to have a brew with you? Of course, they then have to drive when they leave you house. On the thread about the OC advocate incident you posted that you thought he was being criticized and condemned too much and you may be right if it turns out that the incident as reported didn't happen that way. You were wondering if you would be treated the same if something like that happened to you. If this OC advocate did in fact put a gun to someone's head and then shoot a round into the ground he will get no support here, and rightly so. That is assault with a deadly weapon and carries a heavy prison term. I don't know if that is the exact charge here in Washington but I'm quite sure there is something similar to it. That would be a VERY bad reflection on OCers in general. You see when you are part of a HIGHLY VISIBLE group of people such as OCDO it behooves you to put your best foot forward as much as possible. Everything you do and say in public reflects on everybody else who OCs. Like it or not, that's the way it is and is true for all groups, not just OCDO. You represent, TO THE PUBLIC, all OCers. People on this forum, myself excluded because I haven't been here very long, but others have worked long and hard to build a positive image of OCers in the public's mind. All it takes is a few stupid incidents like the OC advocate to destroy that positive image and set us back. You have been given good solid reasons for not drinking while you are carrying. If you decide to do so anyway that is your decision and you do so with the full knowledge of the risk you are taking. Speaking only for myself, if, if something negative should happen while you are drinking and carrying, you will find little sympathy here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt85 View Post
    i dont expect any one to agree with every thing i do. but i dont like how many people in the OCDO seem to think alchohol is "evil" and if you drink it then you will automatically do bad/stupid things. seems like no one here has ever heard of moderation or self control.
    It is the internet, if we all agreed there would be nothing to discuss. No one has said alcohol is evil, just not a good mix with firearms. In my particular case, I look at the benefits or detractors of alcohol consumption when it comes to firearms and drinking (or any mind altering substance for that matter) I see no benefit.

    It is easily demonstrated that when measured in the whole, the contributions of alcohol to society are vastly out weighted by the detrimental effects; I can not see a gun changing that equation to a positive. You are big boy and entitled to make your own decisions.

    We will not ever agree on this particular subject.



    Steve
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Whether or not one has a valid claim for self-defense is going to revolve around intent. If someone's judgment is impaired, their intent is also in question. In a close call, being under the influence will work against one's defense of self-defense and could result in tipping the scales for conviction.
    No, the issue in a self-defense claim is not your intent -- in a self-defense claim you concede that you intended to use lethal force. Whether you have a valid claim for self-defense is determined by whether a reasonable person in your situation would have believed that you faced an imminent threat of physical harm or death, *justifying* the use of lethal force.

    The entire claim of self-defense never relates to the extent of your sobriety.

    Where it figures is like this: If you're drunk, you'll have poor judgment, and you might *unreasonably* judge that you have a need to defend yourself with lethal force. You might also mistakenly judge that you *don't* need to defend yourself or your family, and you all wind up dead. Another possibility is that your physical coordination will be affected and you miss the BG and possibly shoot a passerby.

    There are all kinds of reasons not to be drunk and wield lethal force. My thing is that it's ridiculous to ban the consumption of any alcohol at all by someone with a carry permit. You're in effect depriving him of his best means of self-defense. It's an awful price to pay for a beer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeagueOf1291 View Post
    No, the issue in a self-defense claim is not your intent -- in a self-defense claim you concede that you intended to use lethal force. Whether you have a valid claim for self-defense is determined by whether a reasonable person in your situation would have believed that you faced an imminent threat of physical harm or death, *justifying* the use of lethal force.

    The entire claim of self-defense never relates to the extent of your sobriety.

    Where it figures is like this: If you're drunk, you'll have poor judgment, and you might *unreasonably* judge that you have a need to defend yourself with lethal force. You might also mistakenly judge that you *don't* need to defend yourself or your family, and you all wind up dead. Another possibility is that your physical coordination will be affected and you miss the BG and possibly shoot a passerby.

    There are all kinds of reasons not to be drunk and wield lethal force. My thing is that it's ridiculous to ban the consumption of any alcohol at all by someone with a carry permit. You're in effect depriving him of his best means of self-defense. It's an awful price to pay for a beer.

    Well then, I guess a person will have to decide which is more important to them: drinking a beer or being able to defend oneself and/or others.
    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; it's the only thing that ever does.- Margaret Mead


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    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote. Benjamin Franklin

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    Of course it involves intent. If you intend to kill someone regardless of whether you are defending yourself, and you set up a situation that looks like self-defense, you are guilty of murder. That intent can develop within a split-second before the shooting.

    "Here's a bad guy. Let me encourage him to put me in danger so I can eliminate another BG from the face of the Earth." If you then act in such a way as to encourage him to put you in danger, killing him would be murder.

    If the prosecutor has presented evidence (say posts made on a message board) that indicate a predisposition to set up a "self-defense" shooting, he will surely use any drinking you have done, hoping to get the jury to conclude that your thinking was clouded by the drinks you had, facilitating your taking action on your message board fantasy.

    That's just one scenario--and, it's a bit convoluted. However, it does illustrate how drinking could be a factor in a jury's decision as to whether a shooting was self-defense.

    You might say that you would never put yourself in that situation, however, under the cloud of alcohol, who's to say what other situation are you likely to put yourself in that would raise the question of, "Did he intend to defend himself, or did he intend to commit murder under the color of self-defense?" in the mind of the jury.

  25. #25
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Yet our country was founded in bars and taverns. I wonder how they would weigh in on this discussin.

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