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State v. McKey

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 12-14-2011
Case #: A144141
Brewer, C.J., for the Court; & Gillette, S.J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A144141.pdf

Criminal Law: Like its identical statute upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in Montana v. Egelhoff, ORS 161.125(2) lawfully makes voluntary intoxication “immaterial” to determine mental state.

Defendant and a friend left another friend’s house while heavily intoxicated and proceeded to drive away from the premises. In the process of driving, defendant hit a tree, injuring himself and his passenger. Defendant appealed his conviction for second-degree assault, driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving, and second-degree criminal mischief, arguing that the application of ORS 161.125(2) by the trial court violated his right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. He based his argument on the fact the trial court did not allow the jury to hear evidence of his voluntary intoxication to determine his mental state. The Court of Appeals held that, like its identical statute upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in Montana v. Egelhoff, ORS 161.125(2) lawfully makes voluntary intoxication “immaterial” to determine mental state. Affirmed