This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
Since the contract is voidable it may be ratified by the drunken person on becoming sober.1 Ratification may be affected either by express agreement or by conduct which necessarily shows an intention consistent only with the validity of the contract. Thus exchanging the property received under the contract,2 or selling it,3 operates as a ratification. But where A, who owned property worth one thousand six hundred dollars, was induced by B, who knew of his intoxication, to transfer it while in such condition for one thousand dollars it was held that A's condition in keeping the one thousand dollars, treating B's conduct as a wrongful conversion and suing for the difference of six hundred dollars was not a ratification but a disaffirmance.4 The drunken person may disaffirm the contract if he acts within a reasonable time after he becomes sober.5 What constitutes disaffirmance is not always clear from the authorities. It seems to be held that some act of disaffirmance,6 such as a return of the consideration,7 is necessary before bringing suit based on such disaffirmance. While this is a proper rule where the return of the consideration is a condition precedent to rescission, yet if the circumstances dispense with such return, no formal rescission before bringing suit would be necessary.8
2 Parker v. Davis, 8 Jones (N. C.) 460.
3 Brockway v. Jewell, 52 0. S. 187; 39 N. E. 470.
4 Hallett v. Oakes, 1 Cush. (Mass.) 296.
5 Bush v. Breinig, 113 Pa. St. 310; 57 Am. Rep. 469; 6 Atl. 86.
1 Strickland v. Orendorf Co., 118 Ga. 213; 44 S. E. 997; Taylor v. Patrick, 1 Bibb. (Ky.) 168; Carpenter v. Rodgers, 61 Mich. 384; 1 Am. St. Rep. 595; 28 N. W. 156.
2 Smith v. Williamson, 8 Utah 219; 30 Pac. 753.
3 Oakley v. Shelley, 129 Ala. 467; 29 So. 385.
4 Baird v. Howard, 51 O. S. 57; 46 Am. St. Rep. 550; 22 L. R. A. 846; 36 N. E. 732.
5 Cummings v. Henry, 10 Ind. 109.
6 Carpenter v. Rodgers, 61 Mich. 384; 1 Am. St. Rep. 595; 28 N. W. 156.
7 Williams v. Inabnet, 1 Bailey L. (S. C.) 343.