As Gruntdoc noted (in the comments to this anecdote), not all drunk patients are polite. Still, my experience with intoxicated patients in the ED has been pretty benign, mostly because of kind staffs working to shield students from abuse.

Sometimes, though, students can learn from a distance. On an overnight shift, we had a drunk guy come in from from an assault. He was rude, vulgar, and demanding. Healthwise, he was quickly cleared, but he didn't want to leave Emergency because, as he loudly claimed, "I have nowhere to go! If I go home my mom's going to have me arrested!"

Every now and then he'd shout about his bizarre predicament to anyone passing by. As the hours wore on, the whole department became acutely aware of his situation.

Finally, at around 5 AM, he had a breakthrough. "I know where I can go! Hey, doc, it's ok now! I know where I can go!"

Everyone kept about their business, but a few of us cracked smiles. Stiffling a giggle, the resident turned to the attending, "So, uh... he knows where he can go."

The attending put to words what we were all thinking: "He can go to hell. And make sure to note that on the discharge paperwork."