Intoxication


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Related to Intoxication: Alcohol intoxication

Intoxication

A state in which a person's normal capacity to act or reason is inhibited by alcohol or drugs.

Generally, an intoxicated person is incapable of acting as an ordinary prudent and cautious person would act under similar conditions. In recognition of this factor, the law may allow intoxication to be used as a defense to certain crimes. In many jurisdictions, intoxication is a defense to specific-intent crimes. The underlying rationale is that the intoxicated individual cannot possess the requisite mental state necessary to establish the offense.

Other jurisdictions recognize it as a defense to general-intent crimes as well. For example, although rape is commonly considered a general-intent crime, there are states in which extreme intoxication may be alleged as a defense. It is unlikely, however, that the defense will be successful in such cases absent proof that the defendant was so intoxicated that he or she could not form the intent to have intercourse.

In Homicide cases, intoxication is relevant to negate premeditation and deliberation necessary for first-degree murder. When the defense is successfully interposed, it will reduce a charge of first-degree murder to second-degree murder.

When a person is forced to consume an intoxicant against his or her will, the person is involuntarily intoxicated. In most jurisdictions, the defense of involuntary intoxication is treated similarly to the Insanity Defense. For example, an intoxicated person who cannot distinguish right from wrong at the time of committing the wrongful act would have a valid defense.

intoxication

n. 1) the condition of being drunk as the result of drinking alcoholic beverages and/or use of narcotics. In the eyes of the law this definition may differ depending on the situation to which it is applied. 2) In drunk driving (DUI, DWI) the standard of intoxication varies by state between .08 and .10 alcohol in the bloodstream, or a combination of alcohol and narcotics which would produce the same effect even though the amount of alcohol is below the minimum. 3) In public drunkenness the standard is subjective, meaning the person must be unable to care for himself, be dangerous to himself or others, be causing a disturbance, or refuse to leave or move along when requested. 4) Intoxication as a defense in a criminal case in which the claim is made by the defendant that he/she was too intoxicated to form an intent to commit the crime or to know what he/she was doing, the amount of intoxication is subjective but higher than for drunk driving. There is also the question if the intoxication was an intentional aforethought to the crime ("I wanted to get drunk so I had the nerve to kill her.") Thus, unintentional intoxication can show lack of capacity to form an intent and thus reduce the possible level of conviction and punishment, as from voluntary (intentional) manslaughter down to involuntary (unintentional but through a wrongful act) manslaughter. However, in vehicular manslaughter, the intoxication is an element in the crime, whether getting drunk was intentional or not, since criminal intent was not a factor. (See: vehicular manslaughter)

See: dipsomania, inebriation, passion
References in classic literature ?
His love produced in him a sort of intoxication which changed the shrill voice of the old maid into a soft murmur, and her flat remarks into witty speeches.
I had scarcely laid the first tier of the masonry when I discovered that the intoxication of Fortunato had in a great measure worn off.
She seemed, having shaken off the stupor of intoxication, to be striving to escape from her executioner.
There were moments of such positive intoxication, of such happiness, that there was not the faintest trace of irony within me, on my honour.
His heart, swelled by the intoxication of joy, felt ready to dissolve away at the very gate of that terrestrial paradise called Love!
Danglars saw in the muddled look of the tailor the progress of his intoxication, and turning towards Fernand, said, "Well, you understand there is no need to kill him.
again she whispered in her intoxication, while her bosom heaved, her cheeks glowed, and her eyes flashed fire.
His fearless deportment, his words, so firm, yet dignified, the shades which by one word he had evoked, recalled to her the past in all its intoxication of poetry and romance, youth, beauty, the eclat of love at twenty years of age, the bloody death of Buckingham, the only man whom she had ever really loved, and the heroism of those obscure champions who had saved her from the double hatred of Richelieu and the king.
In a few moments every spring had its jovial knot of hard drinkers, with tin cup in hand, indulging in a mock carouse; quaffing, pledging, toasting, bandying jokes, singing drinking songs, and uttering peals of laughter, until it seemed as if their imaginations had given potency to the beverage, and cheated them into a fit of intoxication.
He could no more stir in her the emotions that make the sweet intoxication of young love than the mere picture of a sun can stir the spring sap in the subtle fibres of the plant.
This state of things continued till about the middle of July, and then there was a little change; Pelet came home one night, an hour after his usual time, in a state of unequivocal intoxication, a thing anomalous with him; for if he had some of the worst faults of his countrymen, he had also one at least of their virtues, i.
This item of information was imparted to us by a most extraordinary individual, a genuine South-Sea vagabond, who came alongside of us in a whale-boat as soon as we entered the bay, and, by the aid of some benevolent persons at the gangway, was assisted on board, for our visitor was in that interesting stage of intoxication when a man is amiable and helpless.