24 Hour Toll Free Help


« Back to Glossary

Definition - What does Intoxication mean?

Alcohol intoxication can occur when a person consumes more alcohol than their body can tolerate, and the amount of alcohol consumed causes physical and behavioral changes. Alcohol consumed in large quantities can cause a series of debilitating impairments including: disorientation, lethargy, confusion, loss of memory, loss of inhibition, coma and in some cases death.

Legal intoxication is outlined in state law and is defined as the condition of being under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. Intoxication is most commonly used to refer to consuming an excessive amount of alcohol but under the law it can also include consuming, ingesting or inhaling amphetamines, sedatives, caffeine, cannabis, cocaine, hallucinogens, inhalants, opioids, phencyclidine, and anxiolytics.

It is illegal in every state to operate a motorized vehicle with a BAC or blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. Public intoxication can also be dangerous for individuals and others, causing a public disturbance and the inability for individuals to properly care for themselves.

Intoxication may also be a defense for committing certain types of crimes. The courts may accept the rationale that an intoxicated individual did not possess the mental capacity to intentionally commit the crime. Contact a DUI lawyer in your state if you have been arrested for intoxication or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Related Links

  • Alcohol and Public Health -- The CDC "frequently asked questions" page regarding alcohol.
  • DUI Lawyer -- why should you contact a dui lawyer if you have been arrested for drunk driving?

« Back to Glossary

Browse DUI Terms Alphabetically:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | L | M | N | O | P | R | S | T | U | V | W | Z | ALL