BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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Alcohol and Crime: Data from 2002 to 2008

Alcohol was a factor in between 19% and 37% of violent crimes from 1997 to 2008. The proportion of violence involving alcohol as well as the rate of alcohol-related violence has declined over the past decade. Alcohol-involved violent incidents differed from other violent incidents in the age group of offenders and victims, injuries sustained, and times and places of the incidents. Alcohol-related crime was less likely to include juveniles as victims and offenders. It was more likely to result in injury and to take place in evening hours and on weekends. A large proportion of alcohol-related violence—more so than non-alcohol-related violence—occurred in and around residences. Violence involving alcohol was also more likely to happen in bars than other types of violence, although a relatively small proportion of alcohol-related violence occurred in bars.

In general, alcohol-related violence was more likely to involve intimates than other types of violence. Based on the victimization survey (NCVS), alcohol-related incidents involved strangers more often than intimates, while intimates were the most prevalent type of victim in the police data (NIBRS). The two data sources also showed inconsistencies regarding the use of weapons in alcohol and non-alcohol-related violence. The police data indicated that the alcohol-related violence was less likely to involve weapons and the victimization survey indicated no difference in weapons use for alcohol-related and non-alcohol-related violence.

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