Intoxicated Victims and the Accident Excuse under the Queensland Criminal Code
Section 23(1A) of the Criminal Code of Queensland denies the excuse of accident to an offender where death or grievous bodily harm is caused by a 'defect, weakness or abnormality'. Alcohol-related vulnerability to subarachnoid haemorrhage would arguably meet the definitions provided by the three judges in Steindl, the only case to date to consider the meaning of 'defect, weakness or abnormality'. A high percentage of victims who die after being assaulted are intoxicated, and medical research has shown people under the influence of alcohol are more vulnerable to fatal conditions such as subarachnoid haemorrhages. Section 23(1A), therefore, has the potential to prevent defendants from relying on the excuse of accident where people they assault die from alcohol-caused weaknesses.
James Cook University Law Review
Criminal Law and Procedure