Pathological Intoxication Law and Legal Definition

Pathological intoxication refers to an extremely exaggerated response to an intoxicant. This may be treated as involuntary intoxication if it is unforeseeable. Pathological intoxication as a primary defense requires proof by clear and convincing evidence:

1.that defendant's intoxication indeed was pathological in nature and;

2.that the level of intoxication rose to the M'Naghten standard customarily applied to the insanity defense.

Pathological intoxication is relatively rare phenomenon where a small amount of alcohol or drug may, because of an abnormal bodily condition of which the defendant is unaware, trigger an explosive reaction and a loss of self-control.[State v. Sette, 259 N.J. Super. 156 (App.Div. 1992)].