Penalty and Legal Effects of Consuming Alcohol in Iran

• Why is it a Crime?

According to Islam, that is the official religion of Iran, Consuming alcohol is Haram and it’s also a crime. The roots of this issue is that, alcohol has destructive effects on ones mind and consciousness and causes them to commit any kind of crime without being aware. Consuming Alcohol can also cause Dementia. Therefore, not only it’s a crime to consume alcohol, but doing it can also lead to another crime. Consuming alcohol is a Religious crime (Hadd) . This means that conditions and the penalties of this crime, can be found in religious sources and the legal effects and the legal penalty is adapted from the religion.

Almost all of the actions that are related to alcohol is crime in Iran and there is a penalty for it. These crimes are divided in two categories : Religious and Ta’zir*. Drinking and consuming alcohol is a Religious Crime but transporting alcohol, keeping alcohol, selling alcohol and etc. are Ta’zir. If the Crime is obvious, it’ll be prosecuted by the authorities immediately.

 * Ta’zir: In Islamic Law, Tazir refers to punishment for offenses at the discretion of the judge or ruler of the state.

There is a difference between an Obvious and Not Obvious Crime. The judge or authorities can not prosecute the Crime of consuming alcohol if it is not obvious.

• intoxication in Islamic Penalty Law

Intoxication is not Undefined in this law and only Consuming alcohol is Criminalized. Therefor if someone consumes alcohol and not even get drunk, even if it’s only one drop, he has committed the crime of consuming alcohol. Thus, as it is said in Islamic Penalty Law clause number 264, consuming intoxicant, sniffing or drinking or injection, whether small or not, liquid or solid, intoxicates or not, whether pure or mixed, is a Hadd Crime.

• Types of Intoxication

1. Intentional Intoxication :

Intentional Intoxication is when the Delinquent has consumed alcohol so he can commit the crime with more strength. According to clause number 154 of the Islamic Penalty Law, Intoxication and passivity caused by alcohol or drugs, does not prevent punishment unless he is completely disqualified and doesn’t know what he is doing. But if it is proved that the aim of using alcohol was to commit the crime, he will be punished for both, consuming alcohol and the crime he committed.

2. Accidental Intoxication :

if someone is accidentally intoxicated, meaning that he wasn’t aware he was not aware of the effects of the intoxicant and he is disqualified, he is not responsible for the crimes he is committed during intoxication. But if he knows the effect of alcohol on his mind and consumes it and commits the crime, he is responsible.

3. Chronic Intoxication :

Excessive use of alcohol in long term can cause Psychological Transformations on human mind. One of the effects of Alcoholism, is delusion. Memory loss, Poor accuracy, High mental disorder and etc. are other effects.

All of these intoxication types are crime but the effects they have on committing other crimes while intoxicated is different.

• Penalty and Punishment

According to Islamic Penalty, the penalty for consuming alcohol is 80 strikes of flogg. According to clause number 703, importing Alcoholic drinks into the country is smuggle and it is punishable with imprisonment from 6 months to 5 years and 74 strikes of flogg and also paying fine 10 times more than the price of the drinks.

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