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Study Says Increasing Cost of Alcohol Reduces Violent Crime

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(Nash Photos/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images)
(Nash Photos/Photographer’s Choice/Getty Images)


While we may never truly know what exactly drives someone to violence (some argue it’s genetic), this study offers a solution to reducing it. Published in the British Medical Journal, researchers from the University of Cardiff claim that small increases in the price of alcohol (adjusted for inflation) at the bar and the store can lead to a decrease in hospital trips from violent crime. In fact, just raising the cost by 1% would reduce violence-related emergency room visits by 6,000 each year.

Given that the study was conducted in the United Kingdom, it may be easy to dismiss the merits of the argument when it comes to the United States. But as New York Magazine‘s Jesse Singal argues, the study holds up across the pond. Singal reached out to NYU crime scholar Mark Kleiman, who said: “Increasing the price of alcohol is the one thing we actually know how to do on a nationwide basis that we also actually know would substantially reduce violence, both right away and in the long term.”

Read the full argument made by Kleiman and Singal in response to this study here. To learn more about the effects of alcohol on the brain, watch the video below.