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Enforcing Contracts Signed When Drunk

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - I got drunk last night and signed a contract. Now what?

It should be pretty clear that your life has run into a ditch when you appear on an episode of the TruTV reality show: Inside American Jail.

A woman who appeared on the show after her arrest for public intoxication has sued the network and producers of the show, whom she claims took advantage of her intoxication by getting her to sign a waiver to allow them to show footage of her arrest for drunkenness when she was, yep, drunk. She also says the tape was edited to make her look bad. Yeah, it was the editing.

So, if a person signs a contract while drunk, can that contract be enforced? In general, courts are usually not very sympathetic to people who claim they were intoxicated when they signed a contract. But where, as here, the other party to the contract knew about the intoxication and took advantage of the intoxicated person, the courts have refused to enforce the contract.

While it’s clear that they knew she was drunk, it’s a little too late to un-ring that bell and fix her reputation. The law can do only so much to protect you from yourself.

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