Alcohol and Crime
As discovered in the text, there seems to be a relative relationship between alcohol and crime. Several studies have indicated that the amount of alcohol people consume in an area has a relationship to the area’s crime rate. To come up with the Per Capita Alcohol Consumption, you must divide the revenue of alcohol sales by the number of the legal drinking population of the area. Since alcohol is legally sold and taxed throughout the world, it is easy to calculate the revenue. Some studies have found that gender and age have a factor in alcohol related crimes.
Most notably, young males have unusually high crime rates and are more likely to visit bars than females of the same age. The pros of a national effort to curb violent crime by outlawing the possession of alcohol, of males under 30 would be a lower crime rate. Another pro of a national band would be that there would be a lower rate of property damage. Some cons of outlawing alcohol would be, that it would violate an individual’s rights and freedoms. It could have an effect on the national economy. These are only some of the pros and cons of an outlawing of alcohol to curb violent crimes in an area.
Per Capita Alcohol consumption has to deal with alcohol sold in an area, and the amount of population that is of the legal drinking age. An ecological variable that is closely related to per capita alcohol consumption is one called alcohol outlet density. This refers to the number of taverns or bars and including liquor stores in an area. Studies that have been discussed in the chapter of our text indicate that areas with a high outlet density are the areas with the highest crime.
Some studies have indicated that alcohol-related crime deals with the population under the age of 30. In 1995 the Department of Justice did a study on an Analysis of National Data on the Prevalence of Alcohol involvement on crime. This study produced the following facts; in 1995 their reports stated, “College students reported 463,000 violent victimizations in which alcohol use by the offender was a factor” (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Greenfeld pg 17). This proves the fact that males under 30 are a huge factor in alcohol-related crime because most students are under the age of 30.
Another startling fact stated in this report was “Among the 15.4 million college students in 1995, about 1.5million experienced a violent crime due to alcohol” (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Greenfeld pg 17). These numbers are a big part of our crime rate in an area. Proving the fact that the population and the per capita alcohol consumption has a lot to do with the age of the consumer in the area. This also proves the fact the more available alcohol is in an area, the more crime there will be.
There are many pros of a national effort to curb violent crime by outlawing the possession of alcohol. There are many crimes reported and documented due to the presence of alcohol. Some of the offenses are DUI, violent crimes, traffic accidents, spousal abuse, and crimes while attending college. The first pro would be a reduction of crime related to driving under the influence. In 1996 a report from the Justice Department stated, “Local law enforcement agencies nationwide made an estimated 1,467,300 arrest for driving under the influence” (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Greenfeld pg 6). Curbing alcohol for individuals under 30 would cut these numbers down, and also the crimes related to them. The same study stated, “On an average day in 1996, corrections authorities supervised an estimated 5.3 million convicted offenders.
Nearly 2 million (about 36%) have been drinking alcohol when they committed their conviction offense” (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Greenfeld pg 2). This survey says it all, 36% of convicted offenders were under the influence of alcohol during their crime. An obvious band of alcohol would bring this number down greatly. Alcohol use during the act of violent crimes is unusually high. Estimates from the National Crime Victimization Survey indicate that victims of about 3 million violent crimes each year, or about a quarter of all violent crimes, found that the offender had been drinking during the offense. Simple assaults were accounted for by two-thirds of the crimes, during the use of alcohol. Robberies accounted for approximately 6% of crimes while under the influence of alcohol.
These numbers are provided by the Department of Justice, and report files on the effects of alcohol use and crimes related to the use. It has also been documented that alcohol provokes spousal abuse. In 1995 the department of Justice stated: “About half of all violent incidents in which alcohol was present and for which the police completed an incident report involved victims in an intimate relationship, including current and formal spouses, boyfriend, girlfriend” (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Greenfeld pg 18). With all of these crimes stated and the facts that have been pointed out, with the statistical evidence provided that alcohol has been a factor. It is quite obvious that if alcohol would be band, the crime rate in areas that have high consumption rates would reduce.
On the other hand, there are some cons to a national band of alcohol consumption of individuals under 30. First, the con would be one of an economic effect. Just think, the activities that make profits on the sales of alcohol. There are sporting events, casinos, concerts, restaurants, and of course bars. These are all activities that alcohol beverages are sold at, and not having alcohol to sell at them, would affect their business. Most individuals that attend sporting events are under the age of 30. Telling the vendor that he cannot sell beer to them individuals would hurt his business. This would affect our economy as a whole. The amount of money that a casino would lose would be catastrophic to their business. The band would have a social effect on the community. Many people would not meet up for a drink at a local restaurant or bar. This again would affect local businesses and restaurants. It is also a human right to be able to consume alcoholic beverages. It would be unconstitutional to take away the right of any individual under the age of 30 to drink.
In conclusion, there are pros and cons to a national band of alcohol to curb crime rates. As stated, the pros are obvious; there would be less crime and a lower crime rate. It has been proven that alcohol plays a major role in crimes that have been committed. So a band would help the crime rate fall in the future. On the other hand, take the right for an individual under 30 to consume alcohol would be unconstitutional. It would also have an effect on our economy. There is no prediction that this would affect our economy, but it would be affected in a negative way. The only thing that has been proven is that per capita alcohol consumption is positively correlated with the rates of crime in an area. The amount of population and the alcohol outlet density is also in direct correlation with crime rates.
1- Ellis, L. & Walsh, A. (2000). Criminology: A global perspective. Allyn & Bacon.
2- Bureau of Statistics. (1998). Greenfeld, Lawrence (Statistician). Washington D.C.
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