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Physiology of Alcohol and Substance Abuse

NCJ Number
Judicial Officers' Bulletin Volume: 24 Issue: 8 Dated: September 2012 Pages: 63-72
Dr. Judith Perl
Kathryn Lumley
Date Published
September 2012
10 pages
This Australian judicial officer's bulletin provides an article on alcohol abuse and informs judicial officers of current law.
The feature topic in this issue is "The Physiology of Alcohol and Substance Abuse" which provides information about alcohol as the drug of choice and its affect on the central nervous system. Alcohol is discussed in terms of how alcohol is measured, absorbed, distributed, eliminated, and tolerated by abusers. Blood alcohol concentration (BAC), how alcohol causes fatigue, and how alcohol impairs memory are detailed. Other drug impairments are minimally examined to offer comparison to the physiology of alcohol consumption. Summaries of major decisions of the High Court and NSW Superior Courts published in this issue include: Patel v The Queen [2012] HCA 29 which discusses manslaughter in which prejudicial evidence led before the Crown narrowed its case and caused a miscarriage of justice; The Queen v Khazaal [2012] HCA 26 which discusses a case where a defendant was convicted of making a document connected with assistance in a terrorist act; R v Gale v Duckworth [2012] NSWCCA 174 which discusses coincidence evidence; Lee v R [2012] MSWCCA 123 which discusses the application of Thomson and Houlton guidelines to sentencing for Commonwealth offenses; and Beckett v The State of NSW [2012] NSWCA 114 which discusses malicious prosecution. Information is provided on education programs for October through November 2012, on subordinate legislation which has commenced, and on judicial appointments. Tables and endnotes