This article presents a context-specific analysis of intoxication and homicide. Substantial proportions of homicides involve alcohol and/or drug intoxication, yet this remains an under-researched phenomenon in the United Kingdom. The article draws upon ESRC-funded research incorporating three sources of data: Homicide Index data for 1995-2005; police homicide files; and interviews with convicted homicide offenders. This dataset provides a unique insight into this complex phenomenon and demonstrates the value of integrating multiple sources of data. The findings highlight under-reporting of intoxication-related homicide in official statistics and indicate that intoxication in isolation is insufficient in explaining the co-occurrence of alcohol, drugs and homicide. Intoxication appears to interact with the immediate and background context of events to produce a lethal outcome. © 2012 The Author.