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MacDougall heard screams in the hallway of his apartment building. When he investigated he found his female neighbour in the hallway. He took her into his apartment to calm her down. Right after this the accused, Chaulk, smashed through the door in a drug-induced rampage and tried to get to the woman. He smashed MacDougall's computer and television, told him he was going to kill his family, and then stripped naked. MacDougall subdued him until the police arrived. Earlier on, Chaulk had drunk eight Cold Shots (a high alcohol beer), had a few puffs of marijuana, and taken a "wake-up pill" that he claimed to believe was a caffeine pill, but it was uncontested that it was a much more powerful drug (probably LSD). Chaulk was charged with threatening to cause bodily harm, assault, and mischief. He was acquitted at trial as the judge found he was intoxication to the point of automatism. There was some question concerning evidence given about Chaulk's drug use in the past, and whether or not he knew what he had taken the night in question. The Crown appealed stating the judge had erred in law in the interpretation of "self-induced intoxication" in s.33.1(1) of the Criminal Code and that due to the intoxication being self-induced, the defence was not available to him on the threatening or assault charges.


  1. What does "self-induced intoxication" in s.33.1(1) of the Criminal Code mean?


Appeal allowed, new trial ordered.


Bateman, writing for a unanimous court, synthesizes the various authorities on self-induced intoxication and derives a test. He states that intoxication is voluntary when the accused voluntarily consumed a substance which:

  1. he or she knew or ought to have known was an intoxicant; and
  2. the risk of becoming intoxicated was or should have been within his or her contemplation.

It does not matter the extent that the accused believed they would become intoxicated.

A new trial is ordered as the trial judge did not appropriately consider the contradictory evidence of Chaulk's drugs use, including that of the admitting doctor. As a result Bateman does not consider whether the incorrect application of the test for involentary intoxication would have affected the result.


Intoxication is self-induced when an individual voluntarily consumes a substance which:

  1. they knew (or ought to have known) was an intoxicant; and
  2. the risk of becoming intoxicated was (or should have been) within their contemplation.