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Because a person with an inability to think rationally could necessarily lack the capacity to conform his or her conduct to the requirements of law, and given that insulin is a substance taken pursuant to prescription, i.e., pursuant to medical advice, the medical condition of insulin-induced hypoglycemia can constitute involuntary intoxication for the affirmative defense defined by Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-1-804(3).
Defendant Steve David Garcia, Jr. was an insulin-dependent diabetic. Three days before the alleged crimes, his wife had told him she wanted a divorce and he moved out. In anticipation of eating cake and ice cream at his daughter's afternoon birthday party, he injected himself with a large dose of insulin. He did not eat anything following the injection. Later that morning, while he and his wife were running errands for the party, he hit her in the head with a hammer and ran her over with their van. Before his trial, the trial court denied his request to raise involuntary intoxication brought on by hypoglycemia as an affirmative defense. Because the trial court refused to permit him to proceed with this defense and instead ruled that the defense could only be presented with a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, the court of appeals reversed his conviction. Certiorari was granted.
On review, the court found that insanity and involuntary intoxication were separate and distinct defenses and that the medical condition of insulin-induced hypoglycemia could constitute the affirmative defense of involuntary intoxication. Accordingly, the court affirmed the part of the judgment that found that the trial court erred by not permitting defendant to proceed under his claimed affirmative defense of voluntary intoxication but reversed the judgment of reversal and remanded to the court of appeals with instructions to permit the trial court to permit both parties the opportunity to supplement the record on the issue of defendant's claimed involuntary intoxication defense.