Should drunkards be held responsible for crimes?

Should drunkards be held responsible for crimes when they blackout and don't recall what they did? Is this demon possession? I think it is a combination of things. They have less resolve to do what is right. A person is responsible for what they do when they are under the influence of alcohol.
When you post, you agree to the terms and conditions of our comments policy.
If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.
To help maintain a Christian environment, we closely moderate all comments.

  1. Please be patient. We strive to approve comments the day they are made, but please allow at least 24 hours for your comment to appear. Comments made on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday may not be approved until the following Monday.

  2. Comments that include name-calling, profanity, harassment, ridicule, etc. will be automatically deleted and the invitation to participate revoked.

  3. Comments containing URLs outside the family of Amazing Facts websites will not be approved.

  4. Comments containing telephone numbers or email addresses will not be approved.

  5. Comments off topic may be deleted.

  6. Please do not comment in languages other than English.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or by Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate.

Caller:  My question is about an alcoholic who blacks out and perform crimes or sins, such as murder or rape, but they don’t remember or recollect the event, are these demons possessing the individual or are these the effects from the influence of alcohol or drugs on the brain?

Pastor Doug:  Good question.  I’m going to restate your question because of feedback on your phone.  When a person who is drinking has a blackout and they commit some terrible crime, murder, robbery, are they doing it with their subconscious under the influence of alcohol or is it demons?  Well, I think it’s a combination.  The devil can’t make you do anything.  But they certainly have less resolve to be good when they’re under the influence of a drug that’s distorting their mind.  So obviously they’re being inspired by demons but they are responsible for what they do under the influence of alcohol. 

I’ve been in some countries where they have this philosophy that what a person does when they’re drunk, its not really them and they’re not responsible.  And that’s how they justify some terrible things.  I know of a grandfather who suffocated his granddaughter behind the seat of his pickup because he and his buddies got drunk and threw her back there and no one in the family held him responsible because they said he was drunk.  That’s their culture.  But I would disagree.  They are responsible.  That’s why you don’t take the drugs.  Because you’re going to do things that you’re ashamed of, that are wrong, and you’re putting yourself on enchanted ground.

Caller:  So its actually not spirits or anything demonic or anything?

Pastor Doug:  Well, it is demonic influence that has more power when they’re under the influence of a drug.  It’s easier for the devil to tempt someone to do something wrong when their mental faculties are weakened by drugs or alcohol.  So, yes, devils are involved.  But I’m not going to blame it on the devil and say “The devil made me do it”.  They had to choose.

Caller:  So if a person is an alcoholic, should he seek counseling in an alcohol program, if he’s attending a church, because a lot of times they say we’ll wait until there’s a medical happening or due to the studies at the church…

Pastor Doug:  You should send for the book that we’re offering tonight on Alcohol and the Christian.  I would say that the church is a great support group and any good AA program gets its initial principles from the Bible.  The guys that founded AA were Christians and they trust in a Higher Power.  They can’t promote it that way socially as much as they used to, but if an alcoholic is trying to recover, go to an AA group and a church, because not all churches are as user friendly to alcoholics—they’re not all the same.  You need to go to an alcoholics or 12 step program, to get some very specific support, as well as a church.

Share a Prayer Request
Ask a Bible Question



Prayer Request:

Share a Prayer Request


Bible Question:

Ask a Bible Question