Alcoholism is one of the rare substance abuses that is legal to practice if you’re over the age of 21. However, in addition to declining your health, perpetually drinking alcohol often leads to activities that are illegal.
Here are just a few examples of how alcohol dependency can lead to criminal behavior.
Getting involved with alcohol as a minor
Those who are under that age of 21 cannot legally, buy, possess or sell alcohol. It’s also illegal for minors to falsely represent their age in order to obtain alcohol.
Driving while under the influence
Alcohol may cause a person to falsely believe they are capable of driving safely. It may further encourage a person to get behind the wheel because being intoxicated tends to increase a person’s courage and decrease their ability to assess risks.
Yet, the risks of driving drunk could include up to 6 months of jail time for the first offense and a minimum of 48 hours in jail for a second offense. The penalties could become drastically more severe depending on factors, such as the BAC level of the driver, whether the driver caused any damage or whether the driver caused someone to get hurt or killed.
Alcoholism doesn’t always lead to violence. However, aggression is a common influence of alcohol. Those who experience these effects could become involved in cases of domestic abuse, assault and battery or child abuse while under the influence.
Each of these crimes could include jail time, depending on the circumstances.
Studies have shown that alcohol use is most commonly linked to sexual assault. Alcohol can increase a person’s sex drive, cause them to become more aggressive and decrease their ability to assess risks. This is when alcohol can lead to a person committing a sex drive.
However, alcohol can also make a person vulnerable to sex crimes, as they are less in control of their actions and may not be able to react accordingly in a crisis situation.
There are a number of reasons why alcoholism could lead to theft. For one, kleptomania, the inability to resist the urge to steal items that you may not even need or want, can be a symptom of alcohol. However, a drunk person may also steal to amuse others or because of the increased confidence they experience while under the influence.
Those with an alcohol dependency may resort to stealing for money if their addiction has led them to lose their or experience other financial issues.
Know who to call for help
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism, it’s important to know you have resources that can prevent your addiction from leading to a crime. For those who are already facing charges due to alcohol abuse, contact a Criminal Defense attorney for help. An experienced lawyer may be able to help you pursue treatment options in exchange for a better outcome of your case.