Apart from the pathological conditions of intoxication, especially the great intolerance toward alcohol, which are the proper subjects for the physician, there is a large group of the stigmata of intoxication which are so various that they require a more accurate study than usual of their causes and effects. As a rule, people are
 Zeitschrift f. Biologie, Neue Folge, Band I.
 Cf. H. Gross's Archiv. XIII, 177.
satisfied to determine the degree of intoxication by the answers to a few stereotyped questions: Did the man wabble while walking? Was he able to run? Could he talk coherently? Did he know his name? Did he recognize you? Did he show great strength? An affirmative answer to these questions from two witnesses has been enough to convict a man.
As a rule, this conviction is justified, and it is proper to say that if a person is still sufficiently in control of himself to do all these things he must be considered capable of understanding the difference between right and wrong. But this is not always the case. I do not say that irrationality through drink must always obtain when the drunkard is unable to remember what happened while he was drunk. His inability is not determinative, because the circumstances following a deed have no reflex effect. Even if after the deed a person is ignorant of what he has done it is still possible that he was aware of its nature while committing it, and this possibility is the determinative factor. But the knowledge of what is being done does not in itself make the doer responsible, for if the drunkard beats the policeman he knows that he is fighting somebody; he could not do so without knowing it, and what excuses him is the fact that while he was drunk, he was not aware that he was fighting a policeman, that so far as he is capable of judgment at all, he judges himself to be opposed to some illegal enemy, against whom he must defend himself.
If it be said in opposition that a drunkard is not responsible if he does, when drunk, what he would not do when sober, this again would be an exaggeration. Why, is shown by the many insults, the many revelations of secrets, the many new friendships of slight intoxication. These would not have occurred if the drunkard had been sober, and yet nobody would say that they had occurred during a state of irresponsibility.
Hence, we can say only that intoxication excuses when an action either follows directly and solely as the reflex expression of an impulse, or when the drunkard is so confused about the nature of his object that he thinks himself justified in his conduct. Hence, the legal expressions (e. g., ``complete drunkenness'' of Austrian criminal law, and ``unconsciousness'' of the German imperial criminal statute book) will in practice be pushed one degree higher up than ordinary usage intends. For complete intoxication or drunkenness into loss of consciousness usually means that condition in which the individual lies stiff on the ground. But in this condition he can not do anything,
 H. Gross's Archiv. II, 107.