Voluntary Intoxication is not a defense to any crime in Texas (nor probably anywhere else). And we often see that it’s not a defense in the court of public opinion either. Anytime the media reports that a defendant is trying to blame, excuse or even mitigate his criminal behavior sue to alcohol or alcoholism, we see a surge of letters to the editor proclaiming the writer’s disgust for both the defendant and his excuse.
Those opposed to selling liquor, like Pearl River Circuit Clerk Vicki Hariel, say alcohol is the culprit in about every criminal infraction that appears on her court docket every week.
"I see lives just totally destroyed in the courts because of alcohol," she said, adding a man who recently pleaded guilty to murder blamed it on a three-day drunken binge.
I’m not suggesting that Texas make voluntary intoxication a legal defense to anything, but why is it that society uses the effects of alcohol as a reason to oppose its consumption, but is so loathe to accept it as a mitigating factor for sentencing purposes? Isn’t that a bit of a double standard?