Alcohol-Related Crimes

A Look at the Relationship Between Alcohol and Criminal Behavior

For decades, organizations like the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics have compiled data on the prevalence of alcohol involvement in crime.  Unsurprisingly, alcohol played a key role in driving related fatalities, but the connection is much deeper.  According to research, alcohol played a role in at least 40% of all violent crimes in the United States.  Violent crimes include rape and sexual assault, robberies, aggravated assault and simple assaults.  Alcohol has regularly been linked to violence, increasing the likelihood that a criminal offense will turn violent if the offender has been drinking.

Alcohol and Family Violence

Alcohol is a leading culprit in crimes committed against the family such as domestic abuse and violence against children.  The World Health Organization (WHO) says that the occurrence and severity of intimate partner violence is increased by alcohol consumption.  Research suggests that the relationship between alcohol and violence is supported by how alcohol affects cognitive and physical function.  In the United States, 55% of victims reported that they believed their partner had been drinking before the incident according to the WHO study.

Heavy Drinking and the Propensity for Violence

Many studies indicate that heavy- or binge-drinking can also increase the likelihood for violence.  The severity of the violence also increases with the amount of alcohol.  Alcohol can promote aggressiveness in an individual.  Scientists believe that alcohol disrupts a person’s normal brain function leading to acts of aggression and violence.

Check back for more information on how alcohol can affect the brain and the startling connection between alcohol abuse and criminal behavior.