Alcohol-Related Crimes (2023)

Alcohol plays a large role in criminal activities and violence. Excessive drinking has the ability to lower inhibitions, impair a person’s judgement and increase the risk of aggressive behaviors. Because of this, alcohol-related violence and crime rates are on the rise throughout the country.

Over the past several decades, researchers have examined the relationship between alcohol, drugs and crime. Data suggests that engaging in prolonged drinking or binge drinking significantly increases your risk of committing violent offenses. Giving in to the harmful effects of alcohol can change your life in an instant. Not only are you jeopardizing your future, you are also putting others in danger. Criminal activities come with severe consequences such as time in jail, legal fees and other court-ordered penalties.

A number of individuals that serve time in jail have committed alcohol-related crimes. Offenses range from minor to serious and include property crime, public-order offenses, driving while intoxicated, assault and homicide. On average, roughly 40% of inmates who are incarcerated for violent offenses were under the influence of alcohol during the time of their crime. Many of these criminals had an estimated blood alcohol content (BAC) level of more than three times the legal limit at the time of their arrest.

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Types Of Crimes Associated With Alcohol

Some of the most common alcohol-related crimes involve cases of drinking and driving. However, there are a variety of other offenses that can result from alcohol abuse.

Several examples of criminal activities associated with excessive alcohol use are:


Many cities across the United States have seen a steady increase in robberies and property-related crime. A number of these robberies – roughly 15% – have been linked to alcohol use. Alcohol can intensify a robber’s feelings of desperation and cause them to steal someone’s money or property. While some robbers desire a better lifestyle or want to make a quick buck, others can turn into repeat offenders. The consequences of robbing someone are harsh and may entail time in jail, criminal charges on your record, fines and other legal troubles.

Sexual Assault

A sexual assault is a forced sexual act and may involve touching, kissing and intercourse. An estimated 37 % of sexual assaults and rapes are committed by offenders who were under the influence of alcohol. For perpetrators, drinking may intensify their aggressive behavior. This can make them become more forceful when someone tries to resist them. Sexual assault can occur when there is a lack of consent, as well as when the victim is unable to give consent due to intoxication or mental state.

Aggravated Assault

A common warning sign of alcohol abuse is irritability and extreme mood swings. Because of this, some individuals turn violent after an episode of heavy drinking. Poor decisions and impaired judgment, combined with aggression and hostility, can quickly become dangerous. If violent thoughts and feelings are acted on, it can lead to an aggravated assault charge. About 27% of aggravated assaults are committed by individuals who have used alcohol. Aggravated assault means causing serious injury, such as bodily harm to another person. Criminal charges are much stricter if a weapon is involved.

Intimate Partner Violence

Alcohol can play a dangerous role in intimate partner violence, leading to aggression, intimidation, forced sexual activity and other forms of controlling behavior. Intimate partner violence happens when a romantic partner causes physical, psychological or sexual harm to their significant other. An estimated 2/3rd of victims suffering from violence by a current or former spouse or partner report that the perpetrator had been drinking, compared to less than 1/3rd of stranger victimizations. Having a partner who is a heavy drinker can cause significant hardships, including financial difficulties, child care problems, infidelity, as well as other challenges.

Child Abuse

Stress, money trouble, professional instability and a host of other factors can influence the amount of alcohol a person consumes. However, alcoholism not only affects an individual, it impacts family members and friends – including children. Research studies have shown a link between parents who abuse alcohol and the risk of child neglect and abuse. Roughly four in ten child abusers have admitted to being under the influence of alcohol during the time of the offense. Children who are victimized at a young age have an increased risk of developing behavioral and physical problems as they get older.


Alcohol is involved in more homicides across the United States compared to other substances, like heroin and cocaine. In fact, about 40% of convicted murderers had used alcohol before or during the crime. Excessive drinking can lead to more severe forms of violence that can quickly escalate to extremely dangerous situations. The short- and long-term effects of alcohol blur a person’s mental state, contributing to an increased risk of committing violent crimes. There are strict legal punishments in place for homicide convictions and can land you in jail for many years, or even the rest of your life.

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Treatment Programs For Alcoholism

Communities across the nation are stepping up in an effort to reduce and prevent harmful alcohol-related criminal activities. Some of the initiatives include public education, alcoholism assessments and treatment programs.

Getting treatment is the best way to overcome an alcohol use disorder (AUD). A recovery program will be able to help you quit drinking and provide various types of therapy for other underlying conditions that may trigger your alcohol problem. For example, if you become violent and aggressive after drinking, treatment professionals will be able to work with you on anger management skills. They may also recommend different activities to help you relax such as exercise, meditation and music therapy. It’s important to realize that recovery doesn’t happen overnight and takes commitment after you’ve left rehab. However, there are plenty of ongoing recovery programs that will motivate you in maintaining your sobriety and living a healthy life.

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Alcohol Crime Statistics

Nearly 10,000 people are killed annually on U.S. roadways due to alcohol-related accidents. Thousands more suffer from injuries due to intoxicated drivers. Close to 70% of alcohol-related violent acts occur in the home. Roughly 20% of these incidents involve the use of a weapon other than hands, fists or feet. An estimated 1.4 million incidents of alcohol-related violence are committed against strangers each year.

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What crimes are related to alcohol use? ›

Several examples of criminal activities associated with excessive alcohol use are:
  • Robbery. Many cities across the United States have seen a steady increase in robberies and property-related crime. ...
  • Sexual Assault. ...
  • Aggravated Assault. ...
  • Intimate Partner Violence. ...
  • Child Abuse. ...
  • Homicide.
Mar 16, 2023

Does alcohol cause violent crimes? ›

Alcohol has been associated with violent crimes and domestic violence across many nations. Various etiological factors were linked to chronic alcohol use and violence including psychiatric comorbidities of perpetrators such as personality disorders, mood disorders, and intermittent explosive disorders.

What are 3 key statistics about alcohol? ›

Alcohol causes 13.5% of deaths among 20- to 39-year-olds. Men are 3 times as likely as women to die as a consequence of alcohol abuse. The World Health Organization (WHO) has determined excessive alcohol use is responsible for 7.1% of disease among males and 2.2% among females.

What is the number one cause of alcohol abuse? ›

Social Factors

Family plays the biggest role in a person's likelihood of developing alcoholism. Children who are exposed to alcohol abuse from an early age are more at risk of falling into a dangerous drinking pattern. Starting college or a new job can also make you more susceptible to alcoholism.

What are 3 types of crimes associated with drugs? ›

Many of the homicides involved drugs or drug trafficking, including the following: drug manufacture, dispute over drugs, theft of drugs or drug money, a drug scam, a bad drug deal, punishment for drug theft, or illegal use of drugs.

What is the most directly linked substance to criminal behavior? ›

Of all the substances used to alter mood and consciousness, alcohol is the one most directly linked to crime, especially violent crime.

What is a risky behavior caused by alcohol? ›

Risky alcohol use increases the risk for developing long-standing diseases (such as heart disease and breast cancer), as well as injuries and violence (such as motor vehicle crashes, suicide, and homicide).

How much beer is 1 shot? ›

The general rule is that one 12-ounce (354-ml) beer with 5% ABV equals one shot of 40% ABV liquor.

What does alcohol do to your brain? ›

Alcohol interferes with the brain's communication pathways and can affect the way the brain looks and works. Alcohol makes it harder for the brain areas controlling balance, memory, speech, and judgment to do their jobs, resulting in a higher likelihood of injuries and other negative outcomes.

What are 3 consequences of alcohol? ›

Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems including: High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems.

What are 3 consequences of drinking? ›

Research has also shown that alcohol misuse increases the risk of liver disease, cardiovascular diseases, depression, and stomach bleeding, as well as cancers of the oral cavity, esophagus, larynx, pharynx, liver, colon, and rectum.

What are 5 facts about alcohol? ›

5 Interesting Facts About Alcohol's Effects
  • Alcohol affects men and women differently. ...
  • Alcohol can lower blood sugar levels. ...
  • Moderate alcohol consumption could help protect against heart disease. ...
  • Many factors influence how people react to alcohol. ...
  • Drinking does not actually warm you up.
Apr 11, 2017

What causes sudden death in alcoholics? ›

High blood pressure is also a consequence of alcoholism, which increases the risk of sudden death by an abnormal heart rhythm. Liver cirrhosis leads to the dilatation of the veins adjacent to the stomach and esophagus, causing them to be prone to rupture and bleeding.

Who suffers more from alcoholism? ›

In fact, some estimates suggest that men are as much as four times more likely to be afflicted with alcoholism than women. This is evidenced by a NIAAA report, which states that of the 88,000 people who die every year from alcohol-related death, an astounding 62,000 are men and only 26,000 are women.

Who are most likely to become alcoholics? ›

Age Factors

Individuals in their early to mid-twenties are the most likely to abuse alcohol and suffer from alcohol use disorders. The younger that an individual starts consuming alcohol, the more likely they are to develop alcoholism later in life. This is especially true of individuals who start drinking before 15.

What are the 3 most common crimes? ›

Top 20 Most Common Crimes in the United States
  • Drug Abuse and Trafficking. Drug abuse and trafficking involve the illegal possession, distribution, and sale of drugs. ...
  • Assault. Assault is a violent crime that involves intentional or reckless bodily harm to another person. ...
  • DUI/DWI. ...
  • Burglary. ...
  • Theft. ...
  • Fraud. ...
  • Robbery. ...
  • Embezzlement.
Mar 3, 2023

What is the highest drug charge? ›

Drug Trafficking is the most serious drug offense. It is Delivery of a Controlled Substance (or Possession with the Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance) plus a minimum weight requirement for the drugs.

What is the crime called when you drug someone? ›

In some jurisdictions, giving someone a drug without their consent is considered “infliction of bodily harm.” People face charges for drugging another person when they committed a felony or had the intent to commit a crime.

What is the most common criminal? ›

Five Most Common Criminal Offenses
  • #1: Violent Crimes. When physical harm is threatened or inflicted on an individual, it is considered a violent crime. ...
  • #2: Drug Offenses. ...
  • #3: Crimes Related to Alcohol. ...
  • #4: Property Crimes. ...
  • #5: Fraud. ...
  • Our Criminal Defense Team Will Fight for You.
Dec 8, 2021

Which type of mental disorder is most strongly associated with criminal behavior? ›

The majority of studies on violent behavior among SMI patients focus on schizophrenia, although some also include other SMIs such as bipolar disorder and antisocial personality disorder (Table 4).

What is the strongest determinant of criminal behavior? ›

One of the most important determinants of health and criminal behavior is poverty and socioeconomic status.

What are 4 risk factors of alcohol? ›

Genetic, psychological, social and environmental factors can impact how drinking alcohol affects your body and behavior.

How does alcohol abuse differ from alcoholism? ›

Answer: In short, alcohol abuse is too much, too often and alcohol dependence is the inability to quit.

What are two behavioral effects of alcohol? ›

Abstract. Drinking alcohol clearly has important effect on social behaviors, such as increasing aggression, self-disclosure, sexual adventuresomeness, and so on. Research has shown that these effects can stem from beliefs we hold about alcohol effects.

How many shots of 99 proof to get drunk? ›

Most people get intoxicated after taking three to four shots; this influence can happen more rapidly if the person involved is small in stature.

How long does alcohol stay in your body? ›

In general, a blood test can measure alcohol in your body for up to 6 hours after your last drink, while breathalyser tests work for between 12 and 24 hours. Urine tests, such as the ethyl glucuronide (EtG) test, are also effective for around 12-24 hours after use.

Which drink has the highest alcohol content? ›

Here are 12 of the strongest liquors in the world.
  1. Polmos Spirytus Rektyfikowany Vodka. Proof: 192 (96% alcohol by volume) ...
  2. Everclear 190. Proof: 190 (95% alcohol by volume) ...
  3. Golden Grain 190. ...
  4. Hapsburg Absinthe XC. ...
  5. Balkan 176 Vodka. ...
  6. Sunset Very Strong Rum. ...
  7. Stroh 160 Rum. ...
  8. Devil's Springs Vodka 160.
Jul 29, 2022

Can your brain heal from alcohol abuse? ›

Recovery of brain function is certainly possible after abstinence, and will naturally occur in some domains, but complete recovery may be harder in other areas.

Does alcoholism affect IQ? ›

We found that lower results on IQ tests are associated with higher consumption of alcohol measured in terms of both total alcohol intake and binge drinking in Swedish adolescent men.

How to get sober in 5 minutes? ›

What's the fastest way to sober up?
  1. Drink Coffee. Drinking a strong black coffee is sometimes suggested by helpful friends as a means of 'sobering up'. ...
  2. Take a cold shower. Standing under some cold water will shock your body into sobering up. ...
  3. Eat. ...
  4. Sleep. ...
  5. Exercise.

In which organ in the human body is alcohol broken down? ›

Alcohol is metabolized in the body mainly by the liver. The brain, pancreas, and stomach also metabolize alcohol.

What are the first signs of kidney damage from alcohol? ›

What are the first signs of kidney damage from alcohol?
  • fatigue.
  • swelling of the legs, ankles, and feet due to fluid retention.
  • loss of appetite.
  • change in urine.
  • kidney pain.
Apr 26, 2022

How long does alcohol stay in your liver? ›

Alcohol is predominantly broken down in the liver through the actions of an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase. On average, the liver can metabolize 1 standard drink per hour for men, or about 0.015g/100mL/hour (i.e., a reduction of blood alcohol level, or BAC, by 0.015 per hour).

What are 5 negative effects of drinking? ›

They include:
  • high blood pressure.
  • stroke.
  • pancreatitis.
  • liver disease.
  • liver cancer.
  • mouth cancer.
  • head and neck cancer.
  • breast cancer.

Why do people drink alcohol? ›

People generally tend to drink alcohol in order to have fun. Being drunk makes them feel happy and “spirited,” and drinking alcohol with friends can be a fun experience. If people are nervous in social situations, drinking helps them relax and have more fun.

What happens to your body when you stop drinking? ›

If you stop drinking completely, one of the first things you notice should be improved energy levels, better sleep and finding it easier to wake up in the morning. Regular drinking can affect the quality of your sleep making you feel tired and sluggish during the day.

What are the 5 A's of alcohol? ›

Clinical guidelines recommend addressing adolescent alcohol use in primary care; the 5 As (Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, Arrange) may be a useful model for intervention.

Is it OK to get drunk once a year? ›

1. Myth: It's OK to get drunk every once in a while. The truth: Binge drinking is associated with serious health problems , including unintentional injuries, cancer, and heart disease. It doesn't matter how infrequently you do it.

What is a crazy fact about alcohol? ›

Every year, 24 people die after being hit with a champagne cork. That's more deaths than from spider bites. This is partly because a champagne cork leaves a bottle at over 55mph – that's enough to break spectacles, a phone screen, or a champagne flute itself!

What are the 5 signs of alcohol poisoning? ›

Alcohol poisoning symptoms include:
  • Confusion.
  • Vomiting.
  • Seizures.
  • Slow breathing, which is fewer than eight breaths a minute.
  • Breathing that's not regular. ...
  • Skin that looks blue, gray or pale.
  • Low body temperature, also known as hypothermia.
  • Trouble staying conscious or awake.
Apr 29, 2023

What is alcohol cardiomyopathy? ›

Alcoholic cardiomyopathy (ACM) is a cardiac disease caused by chronic alcohol consumption. It is characterized by ventricular dilation and impairment in cardiac function. ACM represents one of the leading causes of non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy.

How much would you have to drink to get alcohol poisoning? ›

Drinking alcohol very quickly can lead to alcohol poisoning, which can be extremely dangerous. There is no minimum amount of alcohol that could cause alcohol poisoning.

Which behavior is most likely to indicate alcohol abuse? ›

Behavioral Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Misuse
  • Impaired judgment.
  • Inappropriate sexual behavior.
  • Aggressiveness.
  • Mood changes.
  • Depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • Poor social functioning.
  • Problems driving or operating machinery.
Apr 4, 2023

What culture has the highest alcoholism rate? ›

Russia and Australia have the highest prevalence of alcoholism dependence overall, with 2.61 per cent and 2.58 per cent, respectively. According to the World Health Organization, US has the lowest rate of alcohol dependence with only 1.93 per cent.

Is alcoholism a mental health issue? ›

Yes. Since 1956, the American Medical Association (AMA) has identified alcoholism as a disease characterized by compulsive decision-making, impulsive behavior and relapse.

What percentage of alcoholics are violent? ›

Alcohol-related aggression also often occurs in a context of chronic alcohol consumption and dependence. Various studies have estimated that up to 50% of alcohol-dependent men display violent behavior (between 16% and 50%, depending on age and the degree of severity of violence investigated) (e7– e9).

What nationality drinks the most? ›

Belarus, a country that drinks the most liters of pure alcohol than any other country in the world, was also classified as having one the riskiest pattern of drinking.

Are more male or female alcoholics? ›

Almost 58% of adult men report drinking alcohol in the past 30 days compared with 49% of adult women. Men are more likely to binge drink than women.

What does it mean to be under the influence of alcohol? ›

If a person is under the influence of alcohol, the person has consumed some intoxicating beverage in such a quantity, whether small or great, to cause an adverse effect on their actions, reactions, conduct, movement or mental processes, or impairs their reactions to an appreciable degree, thereby lessening their ...

What are alcohol related harms to others? ›

Alcohol consumption can have a range of negative impacts on people other than the drinker, for example physical violence, road traffic accidents, relationship problems, financial difficulties, feeling scared in public places, or reporting negative impacts on children due to another person's drinking.

What neighborhood quality of life is affected by alcohol? ›

Several studies have reported that alcohol abuse and dependence, as well as other risk behaviors, cluster in contexts of poverty, residential instability, and social isolation.

What behaviors are examples of alcohol or other drug misuse? ›

not meeting your work, family or study responsibilities. lying to people about your alcohol or drug use when they ask. doing things that are illegal so you can get the substance, such as stealing. taking risks such as driving when you are under the influence of the substance.

How long can you be under the influence of alcohol? ›

How long do alcohol effects last? Generally speaking, it takes about 6 hours for the effects of being drunk to wear off. If you count the hangover/detoxification period that happens after drinking alcohol, the effects may last longer.

Is under the influence the same as drunk? ›

One refers to being under the influence of an intoxicant (DUI), while the other refers to actually being intoxicated (DWI). A DWI may also be referred to as drunk driving, as the person being charged decided to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated from alcohol. Generally, such persons are legally drunk.

Is under the influence drunk? ›

Blood-Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

08 percent or more. However, you can be convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) if your BAC is less than . 08 percent and your driving ability is impaired.

What are the 3 types of alcoholic? ›

Alcohols bind with other atoms to create secondary alcohols. These secondary alcohols are the three types of alcohol that humans use every day: methanol, isopropanol, and ethanol.

What are the 4 types of drinker? ›

There are four types of drinker – which one are you?
  • Social drinking. To date, nearly all the research on drinking motives has been done on teens and young adults. ...
  • Drinking to conform. ...
  • Drinking for enhancement. ...
  • Drinking to cope.

What are 5 factors that influence alcohol effects on someone? ›

Genetics, body weight, gender, age, what type of beverage, food in your stomach, medications in your system, and your state of health, influence how people respond to alcohol.

What state has the worst alcohol problem? ›

No. 1 goes to North Dakota, America's drunkest state. Here, nearly a quarter of the adult population—24.7 percent—report binge or heavy drinking. This state also claims the highest rate of alcohol-related driving deaths, with nearly 47 percent of roadway fatalities attributable to alcohol consumption.

Why do poor people drink more alcohol? ›

There is no real mystery about why poor people might drink to excess. Heavy drinking is a way to escape from the stress and lack of control they experience in their lives, feelings that are less intense for affluent people who enjoy higher social status, better social support, and more economic freedom.

What are 3 negative impacts of alcohol use on a community? ›

Significant social impacts of alcohol and other drug use include family, domestic and sexual violence, homicide, victimisation, risky behaviour and criminal activity.

What are three types of addiction behaviors? ›

Some of the most common types of behavioral addictions are:
  • Sex.
  • Gambling.
  • Internet.
  • Shopping.
  • Video games.
  • Plastic surgery.
  • Binge eating/food addiction.
  • Thrill-seeking activities.
Apr 13, 2023

What are 6 examples of substance abuse? ›

Substances frequently include:
  • Alcohol.
  • Marijuana.
  • Prescription medicines, such as pain pills, stimulants, or anxiety pills.
  • Methamphetamine.
  • Cocaine.
  • Opiates.
  • Hallucinogens.
  • Inhalants.


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