• (a) Except as provided in subsection (c), intoxication itself is not a defense to prosecution for an offense. However, intoxication, whether voluntary or involuntary, is admissible in evidence, if it is relevant to negate a culpable mental state.

  • Terms Used In Tennessee Code 39-11-503

    • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
    • Person: includes the singular and the plural and means and includes any individual, firm, partnership, copartnership, association, corporation, governmental subdivision or agency, or other organization or other legal entity, or any agent or servant thereof. See Tennessee Code 39-11-106
    • State: when applied to the different parts of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the several territories of the United States. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105

    (b) If recklessness establishes an element of an offense and the person is unaware of a risk because of voluntary intoxication, the person’s unawareness is immaterial in a prosecution for that offense.

  • (c) Intoxication itself does not constitute a mental disease or defect within the meaning of § 39-11-501. However, involuntary intoxication is a defense to prosecution, if, as a result of the involuntary intoxication, the person lacked substantial capacity either to appreciate the wrongfulness of the person’s conduct or to conform that conduct to the requirements of the law allegedly violated.

  • (d) The following definitions apply in this part, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

    • (1) “Intoxication” means disturbance of mental or physical capacity resulting from the introduction of any substance into the body;

    • (2) “Involuntary intoxication” means intoxication that is not voluntary; and

    • (3) “Voluntary intoxication” means intoxication caused by a substance that the person knowingly introduced into the person’s body, the tendency of which to cause intoxication was known or ought to have been known.