oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - The law of intoxication in Zambia

Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



The question of how criminal law should deal with the intoxicated offender has been the subject of much debate and remains one of the most difficult problems with which courts have had to grapple. At different times the approach has varied considerably. Thus at one stage it was considered that drunkenness could never be an answer to a criminal charge. As was said in the Exchequer Chamber in Reniger v Fogossa. Today intoxication is generally seen as a mitigatory factor but as to which crimes and based on what criterion remains a source of difficulty. This article seeks to review the present law on this topic in Zambia and then to consider its possible future development. The modern law relating to the intoxicated offender stems from the House of Lords decision in Director of Public Prosecution v Beard and this forms the basis of the law on intoxication in a number of common law countries.

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