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Drunkenness is the state of being intoxicated by consumption of alcohol to a degree that mental and physical facilities are noticeably impaired. Common symptoms may include slurred speech, impaired balance, poor coordination, flushed face, reddened eyes, reduced inhibition, hiccuping, and uncharacteristic behavior. Drunkenness can result in temporary experience of a wide range of emotion, ranging from anger, sadness, and depression to euphoria, lightheartedness and joviality. Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol may lead to a hangover the next day. Addiction researcher Griffith Edwards points out the dual chemical and psycho-cultural influences on the behaviour of a drunken person: "Intoxication with alcohol is a temporary chemically induced mental disorder where the intoxicated person is generally not out of touch with reality, but will still respond to what culture dictates."
In the United Kingdom and United States, police have powers to arrest those deemed too intoxicated in a public place for being "drunk and disorderly" or even "drunk and incapable".
There are often many legal restrictions relating to sale and supply of alcohol, and particularly relating to those persons under 18 years of age (19 or 21 in some jurisdictions) or to somebody who is already intoxicated. However in some countries such as Austria, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Denmark, customers can buy alcoholic drinks such as beer or wine from the age of 16 years, although not spirits.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states in paragraph 2290: "The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others' safety on the road, at sea, or in the air." The Church does not prohibit the use of alcohol in moderation; and indeed, the ritual use of alcoholic altar wine during the Mass is central to the Roman Catholic liturgy.
Many Protestant Christian denominations prohibit drunkenness due to the Biblical passages condemning it (for instance, Proverbs 23:21, Isa. 28:1, Hab. 2:15) but many allow moderate use of alcohol.
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