Federal Government Enacts New Extreme Intoxication Law

In response to the Supreme Court of Canada decisions that s. 33.1 Criminal Code violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and is of no force or effect, the federal government enacted new law for extreme intoxication.


The law received royal assent on June 23, 2022. This was just over 30 days after the Supreme Court rendered it's judgement in R. v. Sullivan, 2022 SCC 19 and R. v. Brown, 2022 SCC 18.


The law as it stands now reads:


Offences of violence by negligence

33.‍1 (1) A person who, by reason of self-induced extreme intoxication, lacks the general intent or voluntariness ordinarily required to commit an offence referred to in subsection (3), nonetheless commits the offence if:


(a) all the other elements of the offence are present; and

(b) before they were in a state of extreme intoxication, they departed markedly

from the standard of care expected of a reasonable person in the circumstances

with respect to the consumption of intoxicating substances.


Marked departure — foreseeability of risk and other circumstances

(2) For the purposes of determining whether the person departed markedly from the standard of care, the court must consider the objective foreseeability of the risk that the consumption of the intoxicating substances could cause extreme intoxication and lead the person to harm another person. The court must, in making the determination, also consider all relevant circumstances, including anything that the person did to avoid the risk.


Offences

(3) This section applies in respect of an offence under this Act or any other Act of Parliament that includes as an element an assault or any other interference or threat of interference by a person with the bodily integrity of another person.


Definition of extreme intoxication

(4) In this section, extreme intoxication means intoxication that renders a person unaware of, or incapable of consciously controlling, their behaviour.

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