What role does alcohol consumption play in criminal activity?

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

People enjoy alcohol when socializing with friends, celebrating special days or unwinding after a long shift at work. Most people who enjoy alcohol do so responsibly, but alcohol does contribute to a number of social issues.

There is an unavoidable correlation between alcohol consumption and criminal activity that federal statistics support. Drunk driving is one example, but it is far from the only one.

Alcohol tends to play a role in many criminal offenses. Those who regularly drink should know their limits and avoid making major decisions while under the influence. What exactly is the correlation between alcohol and criminal activity?

Many people who commit crimes are under the influence of alcohol

Voluntary intoxication is not a criminal defense. If it were, thousands of crimes every year would not be eligible for prosecution. Crimes ranging from sexual assault to standard assault that involve an impaired offender would no longer result in arrests. Although a drunken person can’t agree to sign a contract, they can still make other decisions that irrevocably change their lives.

According to data provided by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, roughly 4 of 10 violent offenses involve the perpetrator using alcohol according either to chemical testing or reports by victims. Sometimes, the victim is also under the influence at the time of an alleged crime.

Overall, researchers estimate roughly 3 million violent crimes every year involve an offender who the victim believes was intoxicated at the time of the crime. Approximately two-thirds of those booze-fueled offenses involve simple assault, but some of them are more severe than others. Reduced personal inhibitions could lead people to commit acts of violence and property crime.

What can you do if alcohol has somehow led to your arrest?

Whether you currently face charges for impaired driving or a drunken fight outside of a bar, you have the option to defend yourself. While the impairment itself is not a defense, that doesn’t mean you have to plead guilty.

Looking at police reports and other evidence can give you an idea about defense strategies that might work in your situation. Defending yourself can help you avoid jail time and other serious consequences. In some cases, pretrial division through specialty courts could be an option for those with addiction issues that result in a criminal charge.