Anybody who has experienced drunkenness will know that the effect alcohol has your body is one that can be both enjoyable yet dangerous. Depending on your personal tolerance level and the individual ways that drinking changes you personally, a person can become docile and sleepy, vibrant and energetic or, in the worst case scenario, violent and aggressive. It in these states of violence and aggression that you can argue a large of amount of drink related crime could occur. This can be a confrontation outside a nightclub that turns in to an all out street brawl, a case of domestic violence where an intoxicated individual takes out frustrations on their partner or another member of family, or even something like drink driving where an intoxicated individual has got behind the wheel and caused devastation through their inability to successfully navigate the car that they are dangerously driving. These things might seem obvious to anybody who cares to sit down and really think about it, but in this paper I take a closer look at the true correlation between alcohol and crime.
A recent research paper in to the correlation between alcohol and situations where a police presence is required found that nearly 50% of all violent crime committed is related to a drink-fuelled incident that has taken place outside of a pub or a club on the streets. Half of offenders were discovered to be under the influence of alcohol, and this presence of alcohol abuse continues in to 50% of all domestic abuse cases and 33% of known child abuse cases also. These figures might seem high to the uneducated eye, but there is no getting away from the truth of the matter than alcohol is often the key that unlocks the worst intentions in people, freeing them their inhibitions and taking away any semblance of morality and decision making ability that they might have possessed when sober.
Similar research papers also asked a wide group of victims of attacks, robberies and assaults with varying degrees of injury if they believed that their attacker, or attackers, was under the influence of a decision altering level of alcohol, and 47% of those asked confirmed that they believed the offender(s) were drunk. In a wider sense, it is believed that this sort of percentage for this sort of survey has remained the same for the past decade.
When it comes to sexual assaults on both men and women, it has been revealed that 40% of victims who experienced varying degrees of sex crimes reported that their attacker had clearly been under the influence of alcohol, drugs or a combination of the two. Due to the fact that sexual assaults are notoriously under-reported, it would be fair to assume that this statistic could be on the low side, perhaps rising to over 50% if the true extent of the problem were ever to be revealed.
Something that is important to understand when thinking about a subject like this is the difference between domestic abuse and domestic violence. Domestic violence is often categorised as a specifically physical type of abuse by a partner, ex-partner, other family member or long-term housemate. The term domestic abuse term refers to a much deeper, wider net of threatening behaviour and torment that includes not only physical but also emotional abuse including controlling behaviour and things like financial abuse. Perhaps interesting is the wrong word to use when examining something as horrific and damaging as this, but there is a marked and notable difference in the reported levels of alcohol consumption and influence when you break it down between the two different categories of domestic crime. Whilst there is a large correlation between alcohol and isolated cases of singular domestic violence, the correlation between alcohol and sustained, calculated domestic abuse is distinctly lower.
A conclusion can be drawn from this information to indicate that alcohol is a bigger factor in spur of the moment violence and less of a factor when the offender has launched a more psychological and planned out attack on the victim, perhaps choosing to stay sober to stay in complete control at all times and retain their status as the controlling force.