Upon reading this tragic yet all-too-common tale from this morning’s New York Times, we were reminded of our long-held hypothesis that a huge number of homicides would never occur were it not for the ingestion of alcohol. Yet we’ve never really had a good sense of what percentage of killings involve inebriated parties—at least until we read this recent paper from the Australian Institute of Criminology:
The current study sought to build on the limited Australian research on alcohol-related homicide by examining solved homicides recorded in the National Homicide Monitoring Program over a six year period. Of the 1,565 homicides, nearly half (47%) of the incidents were classified as alcohol related and of those, over half involved both the victim and offender consuming alcohol prior to the incident.
The paper’s two tables are fascinating, especially the one that breaks down the analyzed homicides by date, time, and place. The most dangerous place to drink? In your very own home, between 6 p.m. and midnight on a weekend night, with friends. And if you’re unemployed, you’re twice as likely to be the victim of a homicide than one of your working peers.
The looming question, of course, is how to reduce the number of such homicides—a tough assignment, given that so many of the violent incidents take place in private quarters. We’ll surely be exploring some possible solutions in future posts, so please keep an eye peeled.
And please note that Microkhan is a devoted aficionado of hops, the grape, and distilled spirits, and so is not proposing any kind of prohibition. As we’ve stated before, we blanch at the thought of living in a dry town.