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Can I abuse someone when having a blackout?

If you struggle with alcohol dependence, you may find yourself facing outlandish accusations. Your spouse may accuse you of domestic violence or other people may report infidelity and other out-of-character behaviors. You may have no recollection of this at all, but does that mean they did not happen? 

You might believe that if you drink until blackout drunk, you simply fall asleep or fall unconscious. Sometimes, this does happen but not always. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines blackouts as gaps in memory that occur when someone becomes intoxicated. 

What are the types of blackouts?

The two main types of blackouts include complete amnesia and fragmentary blackouts. If you have complete amnesia of the period of drinking, you remember nothing at all. With fragmentary blackouts, you may remember pieces of what happened but not everything. 

What causes blackouts?

Drinking more alcohol than your body can handle during a short period of time leads to blackouts. It tends to happen when your BAC climbs to 0.08% or higher. Women may reach this threshold faster than men. Men may blackout after five drinks in about two hours, while it usually takes just four drinks for women. Alcohol content, hydration and prior meals can also make a difference. 

Can you really abuse someone during a blackout?

Truthfully, when you blackout, you may act without inhibitions. This could make you capable of almost anything, even things you thought you would never do. Still, this does not mean that every accusation made against you suddenly becomes true. Sometimes, vindictive spouses may falsify or exaggerate allegations to gain custody of the children or to stir up trouble. 

If you have a reputation for violent behavior, this may work against you. However, your ex may need to present solid evidence to push a case forward, such as witnesses and video footage.