Essen (DPA) – With the increase in alcohol consumption by teens aged 16 and older, the number of offenses while intoxicated also increases by leaps and bounds, according to a recent study.
Participation in criminal offenses such as minor and serious bodily harm, vandalism and theft while under the influence of alcohol increases by about 16 percent by age 16 – that is, when the minimum age for the purchase of beer, wine and sparkling wine is exceeded. For evaluation by the RWI-Leibniz Institute in Essen.
The increase was seen in both young women and young men, with the latter committing 90 percent more crimes under the influence of alcohol, as noted in the work of Fabian Dehos, published in the “Journal of Health Economics.”
Particularly on weekends, when young people are not involved in structured everyday school life, according to Dehos, criminal offenses while intoxicated can see an increase. The study is based on surveys from 2005 to 2015, which the authors put together with respect to police crime statistics for the same period.
The analysis also shows that teens in the high-consumption country of Germany, by the time they reach the world’s lowest age limit of 16, consume significantly more and significantly more alcohol than before. In addition, with a serious level of alcohol, young people are more likely to commit a crime for the first time, according to Dehos. “A higher minimum age for alcohol can help reduce the number of young people who become criminals as well as protect their health at this critical developmental stage,” he says.
Experts, for example from crime prevention, have repeatedly demonstrated in studies the association between alcohol consumption and crime propensity for different age groups and types of crime. In 2020 the Federal Criminal Police Office registered 198,684 suspects under the influence of alcohol. In the area of violent crime alone, nearly every fourth suspect was intoxicated.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 211218-99-430129/2
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