[Homeroast] Insane Caffeine Buzz

Phil Palmintere phil.palmintere at gmail.com
Fri Jul 15 14:53:20 CDT 2011

In case you missed it...


I was bored & flipping through discarded magazines in an airport lounge.  In
the ABA Journal, June 2011, page 16:


"Caffeine Intoxication is now evidence for an insanity plea"


"On the morning of December 7, 2009, Daniel Noble went to his usual
Starbucks coffee shop in Moscow, Idaho, wearing only pajamas and flip-flops,
without his wallet or cell phone, and ordered two 16 ounce double-shot
drinks (the barista gave him the drinks on credit, given that he had no
money with him).  After downing them, the 31-year-old financial consultant
drove to meet his wife across the state border at Washington State


On his way, he struck two college students and fled the scene.  The police
chased & captured Noble after a scuffle... he was charged with vehicular
assault, hit-and-run driving, and resisting arrest...


...After a bench trial, Washington Superior Court Judge David Frazier
granted a motion to acquit Noble by reason of insanity..."


It seems Mr. Noble was hospitalized for almost 3 months during which time he
was found to have a "rare bipolar disorder, with caffeine as the final
trigger," his attorney says.  This disorder caused the irrational behavior
in an otherwise "mainstream, strait-laced, no-record, no-problem type of guy
who one day flipped."



The caffeine defense conjures up images of the Twinkie defense.  However,
the latest edition of the  "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders (DSM-IV-TR)" the guidebook used by mental health professionals,
lists caffeine intoxication as a mental disorder.  Symptoms can include
nervousness, insomnia, muscle twitching, and rambling thoughts and speech.



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