The association between alcohol use and violence has been documented by many studies. A review of the literature indicated that alcohol was present, during the time of the transgression, in 30–70% of suicide attempters, 18– 66% of suicide completers, 28–86% of homicide offenders, 24–37% of assault offenders, 7–72% of robbery offenders, 13–60% of sexual offenders, 6–57% of marital violence perpetrators, 13% of child abusers, and 32–54% of child molesters.
A positive correlation exists between the quantity of alcohol consumed and the frequency of a wide variety of violent acts, including sexual assault, child abuse, and homicide.
Multiple studies indicate an association between alcohol consumption and aggressive behavior. Not all people who consume alcohol, however, become aggressive. In trying to elucidate the relationship between alcohol consumption and aggression, researchers have suggested that people with a psychiatric condition called antisocial personality disorder may be particularly susceptible to alcohol-related aggression.
Research with nonhuman primates has shown that individual differences in brain chemistry predict impulsivity, aggression, and alcohol-induced aggression. These differences appear to be associated with early rearing experiences and remain stable throughout the individual’s life.
Violent crime in the United States decreased at an unprecedented rate during the 1990s. According to victim surveys, approximately 23 percent fewer violent crimes occurred in 1998 than in 1993. Reduced consumption of alcohol is co-occurring with a reduction in violent crime as well as many other positive outcomes, including reduced traffic fatalities and declining rates of arrest for alcohol-involved traffic offenses.