Intoxication and homicide

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This article presents a context-specific analysis of intoxication and homicide. Substantial proportions of homicides involve alcohol and/or drug intoxication, yet this remains an under-researched phenomenon in the United Kingdom. The article draws upon ESRC-funded research incorporating three sources of data: Homicide Index data for 1995-2005; police homicide files; and interviews with convicted homicide offenders. This dataset provides a unique insight into this complex phenomenon and demonstrates the value of integrating multiple sources of data. The findings highlight under-reporting of intoxication-related homicide in official statistics and indicate that intoxication in isolation is insufficient in explaining the co-occurrence of alcohol, drugs and homicide. Intoxication appears to interact with the immediate and background context of events to produce a lethal outcome. © 2012 The Author.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)870-888
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Criminology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012


  • alcohol
  • context-specific
  • drugs
  • homicide
  • intoxication


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