Voluntary Intoxication North Carolina Law

Voluntary intoxication in and of itself is not a legal excuse for a criminal act. State v. Gerald, 304 N.C. 511, 521, 284 S.E.2d 312, 318 (1981). It is only a viable defense if the degree of intoxication is such that a defendant could not form the specific intent required for the underlying offense. Id. The specific intent required for the underlying offense of armed robbery is the intent to permanently deprive the owner of his property. State v. Wheeler, 122 N.C. App. 653, 656, 471 S.E.2d 636, 639 (1996). In State v. Baldwin, 330 N.C. 446, 462, 412 S.E.2d 31, 41 (1992), our Supreme Court explained the proper usage of a voluntary intoxication instruction in the context of first-degree murder. It is "well established that an instruction on voluntary intoxication is not required in every case in which a defendant claims that he killed a person after consuming intoxicating beverages or controlled substances." Id. Evidence of mere intoxication is not enough to meet defendant's burden of production. State v. Mash, 323 N.C. 339, 346, 372 S.E.2d 532, 537 (1988). Thus, before the trial court will be required to instruct on voluntary intoxication, defendant must produce substantial evidence which would support a conclusion by the trial court that at the time of the crime for which he is being tried "'defendant's mind and reason were so completely intoxicated and overthrown'" as to render him utterly incapable of forming the requisite specific intent. State v. Golden, 143 N.C. App. 426, 430, 546 S.E.2d 163, 166-67 (2001) In the absence of some evidence of intoxication to such degree, the court is not required to charge the jury thereon.