Protecting Your Rights Since 1987

Defense options for actions while intoxicated

While intoxication may typically be viewed as a reason for filing criminal charges against an individual, some situations might allow for a defense to be mounted in Kentucky courts based on the type of intoxication in question. The ability to use intoxication as a defense often depends on whether it was a voluntary or involuntary state.

Involuntary intoxication can involve an extreme response to an amount of a substance that would normally be considered reasonable. For example, someone with an unknown allergy to a product used in the manufacture of an alcoholic beverage might suffer an episode of severe intoxication after consuming the product. If this places an individual in a state of being legally insane, not knowing that their actions are wrong, then involuntary intoxication could be used as a viable defense. Similarly, someone who has become intoxicated because of coercion or under duress might also be able to present a defense of involuntary intoxication.

Legal insanity in connection with voluntary intoxication could be a viable defense if there is a serious impairment connected to extended occasions of voluntary intoxication. For example, a person who suffers blackouts related to heavy drinking over an extended period of time might not be considered to know the difference between right and wrong during a blackout. A crime committed in such a state might be defended based on the mental impairment in question.

Drinking among college students can be a cause of both minor and serious offenses. Students might be concerned about the long-term consequences of having legal infractions on their public records. A defense lawyer might be helpful for seeking opportunities to reduce charges and penalties. In some cases, weak evidence might be considered in negotiating for dropped charges. In other cases, a lawyer might seek a public service sentence for a client in lieu of incarceration or other penalties.