I do not make allowances for drunkenness. Is this unusual?

In one of the Skald hypothetical threads, there is a character who becomes a racist asshole when drunk out of her gourd. Lots of people in the thread downplay her remarks because she’s drunk.

To me, being drunk is hardly a defense. If you behave like an asshole, I don’t care if you’re drunk, sober, high, stupid, or a pod person. I will make allowances if you’re suffering a psychotic break because of your prescription meds, but in general, I don’t care why you’re acting like an asshole, I only care that you’re acting like an asshole. And yes, speech counts when it comes to “acting like an asshole.”

So, do you forgive someone easier if they do jerky things while intoxicated?

Nope. I’ve been in too many situations where people are obviously faking being that drunk where I was convinced they were just using it as an excuse to be an asshole. These people are easily spotted as they’re the ones talking loudly about how many drinks they’ve had.

Anyway so I don’t always believe that people are as drunk as they say they are, and I don’t give people passes when people do ugly things in the name of being drunk.

I grew up with (and still have) an alcoholic dad. He’s never once said “…but I was drunk.” He’ll also never cop to the number of drinks he’s had. He never gets a pass from me.

No I don’t, but then I’m tee-total so I have no empathy with drunk people and therefore could be accused of being harsh in this respect. I generally think that being drunk just makes you say and do things you want to but self restraint gets in the way of, it doesn’t change who you are fundamentally. So getting drunk doesn’t “turn you into” a racist asshole, it just makes you more likely to demonstrate the fact without thinking about it.

Depends a little on the situation. If the drunk sobers up, remembers what he said, realizes how inappropriate it was and makes meaningful attempts at an apology on his own initiative without being called out on it then I would say all is well and we can move forward from there.

If they are unrepentant or just simply too blitzed to recall what they said then I probably wouldn’t choose to associate with them.

I don’t think this is about accepting apologies, at least not as I interpret the OP. It is more about disagreeing with the idea that people say and do things when they are drunk that they don’t really mean or believe, that they become someone who is not themselves.

I’ve never been much of a drinker, but I have been really drunk a couple of times in my life, back when I was quite young. From those times I know that I do not become a completely different person from who I am when sober. I might have said things I would have ordinarily kept to myself or behaved in a more uninhibited fashion than I normally do. But everything I said and did was something I honestly felt.

If someone says something horrible to me while drunk, I may accept an apology based on the notion that they are sorry for hurting my feelings. But I will never believe that they didn’t actually mean what they said.

It depends. In general I make much less excuses for getting drunk in an inappropriate situation than I do for your behavior when you are drunk. I feel the mistake was made long before, when you were drinking too much with no control.

This is exactly right, IMHO. Alcohol loosens inhibitions. It doesn’t turn a decent person into an asshole if they weren’t really assholes to begin with. It’s more like a truth serum.

As far as I’m concerned, a co-worker who spouts racists stuff while hammered, is a racist who only keeps quiet while sober to keep from getting fired.

I have a friend who’s a recovering alcoholic, and he has a pinback button that says “Instant Asshole, just add alcohol”. He’s told me that usually what he says and does when he’s drunk is basically what he’d LIKE to say and do when he’s sober…it’s just that the alcohol removes the filters. In vino veritas and all that.

It’s pretty well known that some people are happy drunks, some are melancholy drunks, and some are mean drunks. Anyone who knows or suspects that s/he might be a mean drunk is responsible for being an asshole if they get drunk knowing this.

It would depend for me. On the one hand, yes, I believe a drunk person is just more of an ‘honest’ person without all the filters.

That said, just like a sober person, a drunk person may exaggerate something or find themselves in bad circumstances such that unusual racist remarks might come out. Having been through the LA riots, I was surprised at how many non-racist people I knew would suddenly say racist things about blacks and hispanics when drunk who otherwise would never say those things even when at their worst.

If you were fired and was told a person of X race was replacing you, got rear ended by a person of the same X race on the drive home, and stood in line behind a person of X race who was shouting at the clerk in front of you at a store before you went to a party and got drunk, I would not be surprised if you had negative things to say about the X race.

Likewise, I have a somewhat clumsy friend, who when he is drunk will dance like an idiot, stumble, and on more than one occasion, has broken a decoration and dented a wall, both of which he paid to fix and was truly sorry about doing those things when drunk.

So, my answer is “it depends on the context”. If the racist/sexist, etc. remarks are completely out of the blue, then I would hold it against the person. If there were some events that happened earlier in the person’s day (or especially earlier at the party), then I might give the person a partial pass, which I would also do to a degree if they apologized.

I agree with everyone else in that being drunk doesn’t make someone an asshole, it just makes them less likely to hide their assholeness. You don’t all of a sudden become a racist because you had too many beers.

That said, I also think that there are certain things that can happen as a result of too much liquor that oughta be excused, assuming the person simply misjudged the level of drink they had. Too loud in a public place? Laughing and singing inappropriately? Making a drunk pass at someone you’d normally be afraid to approach? Those things happen, give the person a break.

If it happens all the time, that person has an alcohol problem that they will hopefully come to realize and address. Nobody likes a loud, sloppy drunk. I know some people like this, and I mostly try to avoid them.

I’ll give them exactly the break I’d give someone sober.

This is kind of a tough question; once drunk, yeah, your inhibitions are most likely turned way down, but nobody poured those drinks down your throat in the first place. On the other hand, having a couple of drinks makes you more likely to have too many drinks, due to alcohol impairing your judgement. You’d basically have to go back to blaming anyone who drinks at all, and our society isn’t ready to do that.

There are things I’d give a pass on because of alcohol, but not everything. Silliness, ok. Malice, cruelty, dishonestly, not ok. Basic human decency should not dissolve in alcohol.

Well, in Skald’s OP there was a bit more to it than that - she doesn’t normally drink, she got drunk at a gathering out of grief that her friend had been killed by a drunk driver. I’m a lot more willing to give some latitude to somebody in a situation like that.

I’ve never really known people to say anything drunk that was completely out of character, though - generally it just makes you say what you were thinking in the first place.

You have to remember that in the other thread the woman in question wasn’t simply a drunk; she had been invited to a gathering at a bar, the purpose of which was to drown everyone’s remorse in liquor. So even if I could have forgiven her (and I don’t know if I would have which is why I didn’t post over there), it wouldn’t be because she’s drunk, it’d be because she’s drunk because she just lost someone that she obviously cared about.

Edit: Damn you, Sofia!

The silly things like laughing inappropriately or singing, or asking someone out you normally wouldn’t have the nerve to ask while sober, is still really different than Skald’s “racist ranting while drunk” scenario. Loud and stupid I’ll give a pass because it’s just a bigger, louder, more annoying version of the same basic person. I may think you’re a bit of a dink for getting that hammered, but there’s nothing fundamentally different in your ethics or integrity. You’re still a relatively decent person with the filters off.

If the filters are off and you spout hateful racist or homophobic stuff, if you are an angry drunk, or aggressive, or you steal someone’s wallet off the bar, that tells me there’s an underlying ugliness and/or hostility that I did not know about.

As I said before, the lack of inhibitions is more like a truth serum.

Oh, I’ve had drunken grieving people in my backseat when I was the designated driver. There was lots of crying and carrying on. But there was no hate speech.

It’s one thing for an upset drunk in Skald’s scenario yelling something: “That stupid fucker killed my friend! I hate him!” and general hatred targeting an entire group of people: “Stupid n***er! And some Jew lawyer is going to get him off!”

…generally it just makes you say what you were thinking in the first place

That’s exactly right. Generally it never occurs to my friends to use the N-word no matter how distraught they are, drunk or otherwise.

I don’t consider being drunk a good excuse for saying hurtful, cruel things. Having lived with a drunk for most of my life, it’s my experience, too, that alcohol is truth serum. My mom gets plastered almost daily (in a genteel manner, of course - everyone knows ladies don’t get drunk) and oscillates between cruel and sloppy. The latter compensates in her mind for the former.

This, especially if we are in a situation where drinking is the main activity. I hang out with heavy drinkers. If someone gets stupid and falls asleep on my front steps in the middle of a party, no big whoop. We might get a laugh out of it. Ditto if someone knocks over my beer by accident at the bar - it happens. Since we are all drinkers, we give each other leeway on that sort of thing. Laughing off a friend breaking a glass at my house one night simply balances out the night I accidentally put a hole in that friend’s screen door by trying to walk through it.

But I have yet to see a nonracist friend bust out with some racist bullshit just because they’ve had a few (or a dozen). And, as I say, my social circle drinks to excess regularly. You are what you are, drunk or sober.

Remind me to never have a drink with you :smiley:

Are you saying you wouldn’t laugh these things off if people were sober? Because I don’t see anything horrible about any of these things.