The Link Between Alcohol and Criminal Behaviour

November 24th, 2023
The Link Between Alcohol and Criminal Behaviour

There is absolutely zero doubt that alcohol contributes to criminal behavior. In today’s blog article, we are going to take a look at why and how that is.

The Link Between Alcohol and Crime

Research is clear that there is a high correlation between alcohol and crime. There is not a direct cause-and-effect relationship, but there is a significant correlation. In other words, everyone who consumes alcohol does not commit crimes and all crimes are not committed by those who have consumed alcohol.

However, roughly half of all murders are committed by people who have consumed alcohol, and a very high proportion of domestic violence is committed by those under the influence of alcohol.

Why Does Alcohol Contribute to Crime?

The reason why alcohol contributes to crime is because the consumption of alcohol lowers inhibitions. People, under the influence of alcohol, commit acts they would not otherwise do when they are sober.

Alcohol interferes with both judgement and impulse control. This is why those consuming alcohol should not be driving or operating machinery. Under the influence of alcohol, we do not think as clearly. You may think about committing a crime when you are sober, but under the influence of alcohol, you may go ahead and do the crime because you feel less inhibited.

In individuals with other mental health comorbidities, the effect of alcohol can be even more pronounced. If someone has an aggressive streak, that person can become more aggressive and violent under the influence of alcohol, hence the expression “mean drunk.”

Alcohol does not cause crime nor is it an excuse for criminal behavior. However, alcohol can be a contributing factor in violence and violent criminal acts. If you liken alcohol to a drug, then like certain other drugs, alcohol can lower the threshold for acting out violent or criminal tendencies. 

Gagan Nahal is a criminal defence lawyer based in Surrey, British Columbia, although he has represented clients across Canada. He works vigorously and tirelessly defending his clients. 

If you have any questions about this article or you would like to talk to Mr. Nahal, please call him directly at (604) 527-4769.