As I’ve spent most of the Christmas and New Year in a naval household and was quite tipsy for most of it, I thought I’d share the following from the Royal Navy Officer’s Pocket Book (1944) on the topic of drunkenness:
The Officer of the Watch (O.O.W) is responsible for deciding whether a man is drunk or not. His decision must be based on the follow criterion:-
Is the man fit in all respects to carry out his duty? (And that means any duty which a man of his Rate could legitimately be called upon to perform).
If, in the opinion of the O.O.W. the answer to this question is no, and providing that the man’s condition is due to the intoxicating effect of liquor, then the man is drunk.
If yes, he is sober.
This is my absolute favourite bit.
Note:- There is no such thing in Naval Law as ‘Having Drink taken’.’ A man is either Drunk or Sober.
As my duties for the holiday period mainly including sitting on a sofa, watching TV, eating, drinking and answering the odd question from Trivial Pursuit, I think I can safely say I was sober the entire time.