(Received 19 August 1985; accepted 15 October 1985)
Published Online: July
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The law does not generally allow alcohol intoxication as a defense in a criminal matter. Among the exceptions may be pathological intoxication, or PI, or its current psychiatric correlate, alcohol idiosyncratic intoxication (AII). Because of the lack of specificity in the medical concept and the varying approaches by different authors, careful analysis and adherence to current standards are necessary. Relevant laws, particularly that of the model penal code, are reviewed, as are three cases which demonstrate the issues involved. Actual testimony is presented to illustrate possible misuse or inappropriate use of the concept.
Professor of Psychiatry, Rutgers Medical School-UMDNJ, Piscataway, NJ
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