‘Since the days of Noah’: the Law of Intoxicated Offending

Arlie Loughnan

in Manifest Madness

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199698592
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738883 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Monographs on Criminal Law and Justice

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This chapter examines the law on intoxicated offending, according to which incapacity resulting from intoxication by alcohol or drugs can form the basis for imputed criminal liability. The first of two main arguments made in this chapter is that while technical and complex rules appear to dominate, criminal law practices relating to intoxicated offending continue to depend on lay or non-expert knowledge of intoxication. This type of knowledge plays a significant part in criminal law practices concerning intoxicated offending into the current era — broadly, to block certain arguments about what is known and not known about intoxication. The second argument advanced in this chapter relates to the meanings given to intoxicated offending in criminal law. It suggests that, in the law on intoxicated offending, intoxication is simultaneously constructed as exculpatory abnormality and morally culpable conduct, two sets of meanings that are held in a fine balance in law and process.

Keywords: criminal law; intoxicated offending; incapacity; intoxication; imputed criminal liability

Chapter.  16880 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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