The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

If a Person is Drunk or High, That Person is Responsible for Their Actions

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/31/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,279 times Debate No: 45015
Debate Rounds (1)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)




Many uneducated people believe that if someone is drunk or high, she or he is not responsible for her or his actions. My opinion? I smell BS. Why do I say this? Well, the reason I say this is because the person who is high or drunk had the decision to take the drug in the first place.

A very good counterclaim to this is well, what if the person was drugged? After all, the person didn"t decide to get high or drunk. The person had absolutely no responsibility toward being stoned. My response? You are completely right. The only thing I can say toward this is that that is very situational. That happens in a very precise, planned, and manipulated environment, where someone completely different is in control. In this situation it is the person who drugged the victim is in the wrong, not the victim.

I say, again, that a person who is drunk or high is responsible for their actions. It is true that technically they are not in control of what they are doing while they are stoned. You would be completely right in saying this. Their actions are not being completely controlled consciously, so yes, they can not really do anything. In some situations, however, people do have control. Maybe not completely, but some. There is evidence suggesting that a person can be "half conscience" through an impaired state. Some, though not all, physical and mental attributes are still in the ability of control of the stoned person. Of course, another variable to this heavily debated argument is the person itself. Height, sex, and even personality traits affect how the drug affects the person.

Say, for example, someone is drunk as flippity doo dah, and they realize (kind of) they"re drunk (i.e. "Bro, I"m really out of it."), and they say that they are going to go and get some more beer to play more beer pong. In this situation, they are consciously able to tell whether or not they are physically impaired. They have the ability to know that they should not be operating heavy machinery, especially in that state of mind, know they are "really out of it".

Another point that others argue is that a person who is not educated enough on knowing what drugs can do to you is not responsible for his or her actions. After all, that person can not be held accountable for something they did not know of. It"s as if you were to give it to a child. They honestly don"t know what the consequences are for taking this pill or for drinking a beer. All the info they ever received about drugs and alcohol was that "it enhances the party experience" or that "it makes things way more fun". In this specific situation, you would be absolutely right. In fact, this is one of the only situations where a person should not be held accountable for their actions. They were misinformed, thinking of it as nothing but a pill or a drink. To this claim I say, it is very, very situational. This person would have literally have to come from a different country or even environment in the US where education is not available. They had either very irresponsible parents who did not bother to tell their child of these things, or had no parents or parental guidance whatsoever. This person would also have to be very separated from society, or be in a very uneducated society which was cut off from education.

In conclusion, there are many debates, arguments, and discussions you can have about this statement. After all, many problems that happen in the world can somehow be traced to some kind of drug, be it alcohol, cocaine, or tobacco. So my final statement to all is that a person who is educated enough to know about drugs and its effects, who willingly takes a drug or drinks alcohol, is most definitely responsible for his or her actions. Thank you.


I accept the challenge to debate against the motion that: "An intoxicated person is still responsible of his actions"

First, a person can be drugged against his own will. In this case any kind of damage caused can not be assumed to this person's responsibility to the same extent as we would if he had chosen to get intoxicated. This should be obvious and many cases, and subsequently, examples unnecessary.

Furthermore, a person's choice getting intoxicated does assume some responsibility. And yes it does promote further offences to slight extent if we show that one gets the full extent of liability regardless of his state of mind (as per drug effect).

However, a judgment must be in proportion to other major things than just setting an example. If a drug made a person go through a psychotic episode, then it is a good chance that it might be because of this psychotic episode that the person committed the felony, such as a murder.

In conclusion: We give punishments to both set an example (to prevent further offences), as well protect other people from this person, if it is the case of a more serious felony. In both aspects, prevention and protection, a person's state of mind (as per drug) serves a role that must be accounted for. This applies even more so if the person did not choose to get intoxicated.
Debate Round No. 1
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by TheSquirrel 2 years ago
It seems to me, if someone can be called responsible for their mental state (say, intentionally intoxicated, not mentally insane) then they are by all means responsible for their actions.
Posted by Hairseduction 2 years ago
I agree with you 100 percent if someone made a decision to use intoxicants they should be held accountable for the decisions they made while under the influence since they chose to go under the influence knowing they would make foolish decisions.
Posted by JZdawg47 2 years ago
To Ragnar: yes you're right, but if you have read the whole argument, you can see I have already mentioned those factors into the argument. You can't argue with something that has already been mentioned.
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Please add at least a second round, otherwise you'll get trampled by an otherwise weak argument you cannot refute.

Examples: People are slipped things without their consent, plus there's minors who are not at the age of consent. Plus legally within the US killing someone with your car while drunk, is a far decreased sentence to if you did it sober.
Posted by Jifpop09 2 years ago
I doubt you'll get any opposition on this one. It seems like a solid point. There responsible in making sure that they don't get in that position beforehand.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: I don't see anything in the way of response from Con to Pro's arguments. In fact, Con spends time making the same arguments that Pro was apparently ready for. It doesn't take much to read his post before you actually accept and put down some responses. Pro keeps arguing that there is a minority of people who should be evaluated differently, but doesn't explain how that should factor into voting decisions, so I judge this round based off of whether the number of people who should be prosecuted is larger than the number of people who shouldn't. I don't see any reasons why I should prefer the rights of the smaller group, so that's all I can do. Since forcibly getting dosed with drugs is a pretty small minority, and strange outcomes such as psychosis aren't common either, I vote Pro based on the much larger number of people who do know what they're doing.