St Patrick’s day is a widely celebrated event all over the world, especially in areas on the UK were there are large Irish communities such as Liverpool and London. This day is traditionally seen as a day of family celebration, but in recent years become more popular as a day of drinking and partying.
As a result it is also a time when criminal offences may occur because of excess alcohol consumption. According to some statistics, assault and drink driving offences are more likely to happen on this day, as people would be more tempted to drink to excess and then drive home, rather than get public transport. This can lead to serious injuries or in the most severe cases, fatalities.
Studies on drink driving and assault in relation to St Patrick’s day
An American study in 2014, found that in 2010 around 80% of all drink driving deaths on this day were caused by drivers more than two times over the limit. It is also said that due to the excessive drinking and the dreaded hangover the next day, US companies suffered losses of over $160 billion in worker productivity. Studies have also found that assaults, such as provoked and unprovoked incidents, are more likely to happen on this day compared to any other event of the year.
Unprovoked criminal assaults fuelled by alcohol
In Londonderry in 2010, it was said that four men ‘tarnished’ the celebrations because of there behaviour according to the Belfast Telegraph. The assault was said to be fuelled by alcohol and left the victim with serious injuries. Some of the perpetrators were not found at the scene, meaning they left their victim and failed to get help for them. The men asked the victim where they were from and when they replied that they were not from the area, they attacked the victim for what seemed to be for no reason.
According to the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS), it has been estimated that in a community of 100,000 people, each year 1,000 people will be a victim of alcohol-related violent crime. The graph below shows the number of assaults and serious injuries that were alcohol related in Northern Ireland.
The IAS quoted:
“Police authorities do acknowledge that alcohol does have a significant role in criminal activity, because its effects on the mind and body are thought to be more likely to induce antisocial behaviour, leading to criminal acts. For most offences, alcohol may affect the perpetrator: for violent crimes, it reduces self-control; for acquisitive crimes, the motivation can be the need to feed a habit”
The graph highlights the problems we have with criminal injuries in the UK. These stories highlight the potential dangers and the darker side of what should be a peaceful and enjoyable day.
From everyone at Scott Rees and Co, we wish you a happy St Patrick’s day and urge you to stay safe, however you choose to enjoy this evening’s celebrations.
Source one= www.flickr.com
Source two= http://www.ias.org.uk/Alcohol-knowledge-centre/Crime-and-social-impacts/Factsheets/UK-alcohol-related-crime-statistics.aspx