Anyone who abuses alcohol long enough or heavily enough eventually will have problems with memory. The functioning alcoholic will have memory problems. His memory problems are simply less severe than those of the skid-row alcoholic.
Dr. Neill Neill
The subject of alcoholic blackouts is a controversial one. The argument that a person was in an alcoholic blackout and didn’t know what he was doing at the time has been used in court successfully to help people avoid the legal consequence of their actions. Lawyers have used the argument of the alcoholic blackout to help a man avoid the legal consequences of beating his wife to death or of killing someone while driving drunk.
For someone to be convicted of a crime he has to know the difference between right and wrong at the time of the crime. When he goes to court and has no recollection of the incident, his lawyer argues that he was not conscious of what he was doing when he committed the crime.