22 November 2016
Alcohol is involved in a substantial number of family violence incidents recorded by police. However, there is a paucity of Australian research on the relative contribution of alcohol use by perpetrators and/or victims to whether or not the incident results in the perpetrator being arrested for or charged with a criminal offence. This study involved statistical analysis of a sample of 121,251 family violence incidents recorded by Victoria Police over a two-year period from 2014 to 2015. Twelve percent of incidents were noted by police as involving only perpetrator alcohol use, two percent were noted as involving only victim alcohol use and eight percent were noted as inolving alcohol use by both parties. A regression model was constructed to examine the contribution of alcohol involvement to predicting whether a criminal offence will be recorded, controlling for other factors known to be related to whether a perpetrator is arrested. Perpetrator alcohol use was not found to contribute to predicting whether an offence would be recorded while incidents where victims used alcohol and where both parties used alcohol were less likely to have an offence recorded.