Alcohol, like any drug, changes the way a person interacts with the world around them. As a depressant, it changes the users mood, as well as how they interact with others. However, unlike many other drugs that can be this influential, alcohol is legal. This makes it incredibly easy to obtain in any quantity desired. When someone consumes too much of the substance they can become irrational and lose inhibition. This can often lead to decisions they would not usually make, and an influx of alcohol related crime.
Is Alcohol Related Crime Common?
Alcohol related crime isn’t a new thing. But as the world evolves it has become more noticeable, due to heavily populated areas, CCTV and a developing binge drinking culture. Alcohol related crime statistics state that in the United States, around 500,000 cases of alcohol violence are reported every year. And then there’s the addition of the crimes that aren’t reported.
A staggering 86% of homicides and 60% of sexual abuse or rape cases were under the influence of the drug. In addition that, there were assaults, child abuse and alcohol domestic violence charges, all of which were heavily influenced by the drug.
The most common of alcohol related crimes is drinking under the influence (DUI). Every year, around 10,000 people are involved in road collisions due to the influence of the substance. In addition to the 10,000, a further 1.4 million are arrested for driving whilst drunk.
Types Of Alcohol Related Crime
Alcohol And Violence
Violent crime becomes far more common under the influence of the drug. This is because the drug takes away the consumers inhibitions. The relationship between alcohol and violence becomes increasingly evident year by year, with aggravated assault, homicide and sexual abuse all on the rise because of the substance. In fact, alcohol and violence statistics state that over 86% of homicides were committed under the influence.
Alcohol And Domestic Violence
Alcohol and violence isn’t just restricted to the street. There is a substantial rise in domestic violence when someone is under the influence of the drug, with 70% of domestic abuse occurring between 11pm and 2am. The relationship between domestic violence and alcohol is clearly highlighted by the timing of the abuse, which occurs during the period that people tend to consume the drug. Family of alcoholics suffer sometimes much more than the addicts themselves.
Alcohol And Rape
Rape is another crime heavily influenced by the drug, with over 60% of all sexual assault or abuse cases being whilst the abuser is intoxicated. This alcohol and rape statistic suggests that rape and alcohol share such a correlation due to the lack of inhibition a person when under the influence, especially when speaking bout the underage drinking. The substance creates a lack of fear, from others and from the law. The drug also takes away the thought of any consequences of sexual assault, which is why the rate is so much higher when under intoxicated.
Child Abuse And Alcohol
Child abuse rates also go up when the abuser is intoxicated, with 13% of cases being down to excessive consumption of the drug. Again, this seems to be due to a lack of inhibition. When under the influence there is a lack of concern for the child’s wellbeing and the impact that a certain reaction may have. Decisions become impulsive and can have drastically negative social consequences of alcohol.
Alcohol And Violence With Strangers
Again, this is due to recklessness and lack of inhibition. Both alcohol and depression also tend to be the case with both parties, the abuser and the victim. This can often be caused by someone being more confident than normal and verbally causing conflict where both people end up injured.
Alcohol – Crime Convictions
Criminal convictions involving the substance are incredibly common. 40% of all convictions are down to alcohol abuse, where the perpetrator was intoxicated when committing the crime.
Many of these convictions are also repeat offenders, which suggests that their alcoholism is getting the better of them and they tend to lose control when under the influence. Moreover, it is not always necessary to drink alcohol all the time to lose control. Those who abuse alcohol excessively finally develop a dry drunk behavior – this is a syndrome when an alcoholic behaves and feels like he or she has just consumed a big amount of ethanol.
Crime Prevention Methods – Avoiding Crime When Drunk
Alcoholism is very difficult to deal with, regardless of the reason help is needed. This means that many users will struggle to avoid the substance, again and again. But are there any ways to prevent crimes occurring when users are intoxicated?
There have been a number of suggestions to lower alcohol related crime and violence, some of them are more extreme methods than others. Suggestions include:
- Educating People On The Dangers – Understanding the dangers of what can happen when you abuse the drug may deter users in the first place. It may also make people aware of when to stop drinking or how to help others, thus avoiding conflicts.
- Creating A More Affordable Form Of Rehabilitation – Currently, rehab is quite expensive in many places. More outpatient programs with support would help to keep the costs down and encourage people to try to rehabilitate.
- Try To Limit Consumption – This is one of the more drastic measures, but limiting consumption may lower the likelihood of abuse. However, it would be hard to monitor as an abuser would probably just buy from somewhere else. In addition to that, keeping someone from an addiction could have just as negative an impact on the crimes they commit.
- Cheaper Promotion For Alcohol Free Alternatives – Allowing brands to promote their alcohol free alternatives for less may mean there is less temptation when it comes to advertising. They would more than likely advertise the non-alcoholic versions of their beverage instead, which could have a positive impact.
- Encourage Positive Behavior With Rewards – Another quite drastic approach is to reward those who stop before they exceed a certain level of consumption. However, this would be incredibly difficult and expensive to monitor.
When it comes to alcohol related crime, the best way to lower crime rates and improve safety, is to try to help those addicted. Like any addiction, alcohol abuse is very challenging to overcome. However, alcohol addiction is treated in most of the cases. The hardest part is to cope with craving alcohol, however, sober living houses and support group meetings can help to handle this issue.