This is not a matter covered by the constitution, except for general provisions that apply to all prosecutions. In most states, first degree murder is murder with premeditation and intent to kill, or murder committed during another specified felony (such as rape or robbery). Other murders with unpremeditated intent to kill are second degree murder. A killing may be manslaughter if it was not intentional, but was caused by gross negligence. Alcohol involvement might be important in determining if there was intent, or if there was negligence, but otherwise being drunk does not provide a defense. Good luck.
Contact me at 248-399-6930 for a free consultation. You and I do not have an attorney-client relationship formed by our communications on this website. Advice given by me on this website is general advice based on partial information. You should not rely on any advice given without first hiring a lawyer in the area where the case is pending, and providing that lawyer with full information.
Under the Code of Alabama, 1975, in section 13A-3-2, the Code states:
(a) Intoxication is not a defense to a criminal charge, except as provided in subsection (c) of this section. However, intoxication, whether voluntary or involuntary, is admissible in evidence whenever it is relevant to negate an element of the offense charged.
(b) When recklessness establishes an element of an offense and the actor is unaware of a risk because of voluntary intoxication, his unawareness is immaterial in a prosecution for that offense.
(c) Involuntary intoxication is a defense to prosecution if as a result the actor lacks capacity either to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of law.
(d) Intoxication in itself does not constitute mental disease or defect within the meaning of Section 13A-3-1."
Therefore, voluntary intoxication by alcohol is never a valid defense to a crime in the state of Alabama; only if the defendant was intoxicated by trickery (ther term used is "involuntary intoxication") is there a viable defense. If specfic intent is required as an element of the offense, and the intoxication has diminished the actor's ability to decide, then intoxication may be used as a defense to the issue of specific intent.
At most, it can be a partial defense that might reduce the charge down to manslaughter, but it will not completely clear the person of wrongdoing. The usefulness of intoxication as a defense will depend on the specific grounds for being charged with murder and on the specific facts of the case.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline