Extreme intoxication is now a defence - Supreme Court of Canada

Started by Barrister, May 13, 2022, 12:31:34 PM

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Malthus

Quote from: viper37 on May 15, 2022, 12:31:16 PM
Quote from: Barrister on May 13, 2022, 01:51:16 PMIs it really good public policy to say "oh well, you were just highly intoxicated.  Sorry victims, nothing we can do here"?

Would that happen to drunk/impaired driving?

There are multiple cases a year where someone drank way too much, drove and cause a fatal accident.  They are usually charged with a crime, more than just driving/operating under influence.

But now, could they get these supplemental charges struck down and be only guilty of drunk driving?

That wouldn't generally be enough to trigger an automatism defence.

The defence is going to be rare.

In the case, they state automatism is more like completely involuntary movements - someone totally disconnected from reality. It is unlikely anyone in that state would be able to drive at all. Indeed, the Court stated that it is unlikely one could get automatism from booze alone.
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Sheilbh

Interestingly CPS has a bit on automatism and intoxication here - the Scottish case (not binding in England) sounds really interesting:
QuoteAutomatism

Disinhibition as a result of consuming drink and/or drugs is not automatism. Furthermore, automatism is not available to a defendant who has induced an acute state of involuntary behaviour as a result of his own voluntary consumption of intoxicants: R v Coley; R v McGhee; R v Harris [2013] Crim. L.R. 923 CA.

In Scotland, the High Court of Justiciary has held that automatism cannot be established as a defence to a charge of driving with excess alcohol upon proof of a transitory state of parasomnia (sleep-walking) resulting from and induced by deliberate and self-induced intoxication: Finegan v Heywood, The Times, May 10, 2000. Although this decision is not binding upon the courts in England and Wales, it is a persuasive authority.

QuoteIn the case, they state automatism is more like completely involuntary movements - someone totally disconnected from reality. It is unlikely anyone in that state would be able to drive at all. Indeed, the Court stated that it is unlikely one could get automatism from booze alone.
Yeah I could see it happen if someone was taking prescription drugs and then got drunk/intoxicated. My instinct is if it's something that doctors/pharmacists flag (and I've been told "don't drink with this") or maybe is listed on the back of the packet/in the leaflet then that shouldn't be a defence.
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The Brain

Quote from: DGuller on May 15, 2022, 12:04:30 PM
Quote from: The Brain on May 15, 2022, 07:58:09 AMIf you're too drunk to understand reality then you are unlikely to do more than lie on the ground. If you manage to enter and start a vechicle, or fire a gun, or stab someone, or give false information on your tax return, then clearly you still understand reality.
That's like saying that sleepwalking isn't a thing.  If you can walk and open doors, then you're obviously not sleeping.  Retaining some skills that have been trained by repetition to the point of automation doesn't mean that you're applying them with the minimum understanding of reality we expect from a reasonable person.

If the person didn't perform the acts, then who did?

I know that the idea that a person is only their highest order reasoning ego, and not the whole human, is common in law, but it's ridiculous and unsound.
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Razgovory

The person preformed the act but the act isn't a crime.  To commit a crime a person must be able to make a decision.  If someone is killed by something unable able to make a decision such as a sleeping person or a robot then its not a crime.
I've given it serious thought. I must scorn the ways of my family, and seek a Japanese woman to yield me my progeny. He shall live in the lands of the east, and be well tutored in his sacred trust to weave the best traditions of Japan and the Sacred South together, until such time as he (or, indeed his house, which will periodically require infusion of both Southern and Japanese bloodlines of note) can deliver to the South it's independence, either in this world or in space.  -Lettow April of 2011

Raz is right. -MadImmortalMan March of 2017

DGuller

Quote from: The Brain on May 15, 2022, 02:41:14 PMIf the person didn't perform the acts, then who did?

I know that the idea that a person is only their highest order reasoning ego, and not the whole human, is common in law, but it's ridiculous and unsound.
Is your issue then with the entire concept of mens rea?

The Brain

Quote from: DGuller on May 15, 2022, 04:40:03 PM
Quote from: The Brain on May 15, 2022, 02:41:14 PMIf the person didn't perform the acts, then who did?

I know that the idea that a person is only their highest order reasoning ego, and not the whole human, is common in law, but it's ridiculous and unsound.
Is your issue then with the entire concept of mens rea?

I think it's often applied in an unsound way.
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grumbler

Quote from: The Brain on May 15, 2022, 04:53:30 PM
Quote from: DGuller on May 15, 2022, 04:40:03 PMIs your issue then with the entire concept of mens rea?

I think it's often applied in an unsound way.

But that's an objection that5 could be levelled at pretty much anything.

I think thinking is often applied in an unsound way.
I think gravity is often applied in an unsound way.
I think language is often applied in an unsound way.
etc
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The Brain

Quote from: grumbler on May 15, 2022, 05:36:22 PM
Quote from: The Brain on May 15, 2022, 04:53:30 PM
Quote from: DGuller on May 15, 2022, 04:40:03 PMIs your issue then with the entire concept of mens rea?

I think it's often applied in an unsound way.

But that's an objection that5 could be levelled at pretty much anything.

I think thinking is often applied in an unsound way.
I think gravity is often applied in an unsound way.
I think language is often applied in an unsound way.
etc

I don't follow.
Women want me. Men want to be with me.

crazy canuck

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