News of Alcohol-Fueled Crimes May Prompt Support of Liquor Legislation

News coverage of violent crimes and fatal accidents linked to alcohol use may increase public support of stricter alcohol-control laws, HealthDay reports.

A new study surveyed 789 adults and found that they were more likely to support alcohol-control laws after exposure to stories in the media about violent crimes, car accidents and other types of accidents involving alcohol.

Research shows that drinking is involved in nearly one-third of deaths from accidents and violent crime. However many news reports of these incidents do not mention alcohol’s link to the cases, according to the authors of the study published in the March issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

“People have some awareness of the social cost that alcohol can have,” said study author Michael D. Slater, of Ohio State University. “But only a small fraction of news stories on violent crime and non-motor vehicle accidents acknowledge the contributing role of alcohol.”

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    Concerned Citizen

    February 24, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    Note that if mental illness is even a possibility in the commission of a crime the headline reads “Psychopath on the Loose!” However 1/3 of deaths from accidents and violent crime involve alcohol…and the news stories don’t even mention it…hmmm…stigma anyone?

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    Scott Smith

    February 24, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    No matter what laws exist nor for what purpose, individuals are responsible for the choices they make. If a person cannot drink alcohol safely then drinking alcohol should not be an option. True, laws can influence social choices, such as in the case of smoking bans in alcohol use establishments, but the individual is still responsible for the outcomes of his or her actions.

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    February 23, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    I would like to see OSU do a study on the impact of smoking bans on excessive drinking, DUI fatalities and Domestic Violence. In Ohio, last year had a record number of DUI fatalities. Over 22,000,000 more bottles of HARD LIQUOR have been sold for home and party consumption since the year PRIOR TO THE SMOKING BAN. It seems smoking bans have had an unintended consequence of putting more alcohol in the hands (and vehicles) of people who wish to gather where they are accommodated, i.e. permitted to smoke.

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