skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 67114 Find in a Library
Title: SOCIOLEGAL EXAMINATION OF INTOXICATION AND THE CRIMINAL LAW
Journal: CONTEMPORARY DRUG PROBLEMS  Volume:7  Issue:3  Dated:(FALL 1978)  Pages:401-469
Author(s): T EPSTEIN
Corporate Author: Federal Legal Publications, Inc
Managing Editor
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 69
Sponsoring Agency: Federal Legal Publications, Inc
New York, NY 10007
New York City Dept of Probation
Albany, NY 12207
Contract Number: ADM-281-76-0027
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ARTICLE ANALYZES THE PAST AND CURRENT STATE OF THE LAWS CONCERNING CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE INTOXICATED OFFENDER, AND EMPHASIZES THE UNDERLYING SOCIAL BASES OF THE LAWS AS WELL AS PROPOSED REVISIONS.
Abstract: THE CONCEPTUAL BACKGROUND OF THE PROBLEM OF CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY OF AN INTOXICATED OFFENDER IS EXAMINED. SPECIAL ATTENTION IS GIVEN TO TRADITIONAL PHILOSOPHIES THAT FORM THE BASES OF WESTERN CRIMINAL SYSTEMS AND THE EXEMPLIFICATION OF THOSE PHILOSOPHIES IN THE CONCEPTUAL CRIMINAL FRAMEWORK. EXPLICIT LAWS TREATING INTOXICATED OFFENDERS AS CRIMINALS ARE REVIEWED. HISTORICAL DECISIONS AND CURRENT LEGISLATION ARE SUMMARIZED. AMONG THE SUBJECTS EXAMINED UNDER CURRENT LEGISLATION ARE 'MENS REA,' THE DEGREE OF DRUNKENNESS, EXCULPATION, INVOLITION, AND JURY INSTRUCTION. A SET OF JURY INSTRUCTIONS IS EXCERPTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TYPOLOGY DISCUSSED TO PROVIDE THE COMMONSENSE BASIS OF INTOXICATION LAW. A BRIEF SYNOPSIS OF THE LAWS OF PENNSYLVANIA AND CALIFORNIA AND THE MODEL PENAL CODE ARE INCLUDED TO DEMONSTRATE THE DIFFERENCES IN THREE SEPARATE APPROACHES TO THE LAW OF INTOXICATION AND CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY. THE STUDY POINTS OUT THE BROAD AND OFTEN CONTRADICTORY BODY OF CONVENTIONAL AND LEGAL WISDOM ABOUT INTOXICATION AND CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY, AND IT EMPHASIZES THE SOCIAL PHENOMENA THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE THINKING OF JUDGES, LEGISLATORS, AND SCHOLARS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LAW. A SECTION IS GIVEN TO PHILOSOPHICAL, SOCIAL, AND LEGAL CONTROVERSIES THAT HAVE EMERGED AND THE REASONS FOR THEIR EMERGENCE. ANOTHER SEGMENT DESCRIBES THE SUBSTANTIVE LEGAL POINTS AT ISSUE AND CONSIDERS THE ALTERNATIVE REFORMULATIONS MOST PREVALENT IN THE LITERATURE. FINALLY, AN ATTEMPT IS MADE TO SUGGEST WHICH REFORMS WOULD BE MOST PHILOSOPHICALLY CONSISTENT, SOCIALLY BENEFICIAL, AND LEGALLY EFFICACIOUS. THE STUDY CONCLUDES THAT THE TREATMENT OF DRUNKENNESS IN THE CRIMINAL LAW IS IN REALITY CONTROLLED BY THE WEIGHT OF PERCEIVED PUBLIC OPINION, AND THAT IT IS THE RELATIVE INTRACTABILITY OF PUBLIC OPINION WHICH LIES BEHIND THE JUDICIAL RELIANCE ON LEGAL PRECEDENTS. EVEN THE PROPOSALS FOR CHANGE REFLECT INTERPRETATIONS DRAWN FROM MEDICAL AND SOCIOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE IN VIEW OF REFORMIST POLITICAL ORIENTATIONS. NOTES ARE PROVIDED. (MFE)
Index Term(s): Alcohol-Related Offenses; Criminal responsibility; Drug offenders; Jury instructions; Law reform; Liquor control laws; Liquor law violations
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67114

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.