Alcohol and Risk Taking


Drinking a lot of alcohol can sometimes result in people taking greater risks than they usually would had they not been drinking.

Heavy drinking can make people less able to make a rational decision and less capable of risk assessment. It can make them much less cautious than they would normally be. Statistics show that because of these factors, drunk people are more likely to have an accident than sober people. Their accident is also likely to be more serious than it might have been if they hadn’t been drinking.

Drunkenness can also result in people engaging in risky sexual behaviour and failing to pay attention to safe sex measures. This increases the risk of pregnancy, STDs and engaging in behaviour which is later regrettable.

People who are drunk often unwittingly put themselves in more dangerous situations than they typically would. They may agree to go home with a stranger they’ve met in a club, for example or may decide to save money on a taxi by walking home alone late at night.

Studies have found that alcohol is often present for a variety of crimes, including assault, rape and murder. Both perpetrators and victims may have been drinking, but sober bystanders may get caught up in the violence too. Pub and club closing times are the peak time for incidents of alcohol-related violence.


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