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Crime in America: Alcohol and Drugs. Alcohol is the most widely abused substance in the United States today. It is mostly abused because it is socially acceptable in our society.

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Crime in America:

Alcohol and Drugs


Alcohol is the most widely abused substance in the United States today.

  • It is mostly abused because it is socially acceptable in our society.
  • Legal alcohol use by persons over the age of 21 has been around since the birth of our country-with the exception of a 14 year period from 1920-1933 known as Prohibition.

Alcohol abuse is detrimental to our society.

  • Alcoholism contributes to the poor functioning of some families and many people commit spouse and child abuse and other crimes while under the influence of alcohol.

Alcohol abuse was a factor in 35% of the crime in the U.S. in 2001 and 66% of the victims who suffered abuse by a spouse, former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend report that alcohol had been a factor.

  • Drunk driving is legally referred to as driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated (DUI) (DWI).

When a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is between .01 to .09 then the person is considered impaired.

  • When the BAC reaches .10 and higher then the person is considered intoxicated.

Penalties for DUI/DWI can be:

  • Monetary fine
  • Enrollment in a DWI school
  • Community service
  • License suspended (taken away for a short period of time)
  • License revoked (permanently taken away)
  • Jail sentence
  • Singular or in combination the penalties may be used. Repeat offenders usually get stiffer and stiff penalties.

A driver who has stopped may choose not to take an alcohol test. In some states refusing to take this test could result in an immediate and automatic suspension of the driver’s license for certain period even if the driver was found not guilty.


Young people are more likely to be injured or killed in alcohol related accidents than people of any other age group.

  • This is because alcohol affects teenagers faster and to a greater extent than adults and because teens tend to be less-experienced drivers.

Illegal drugs use in not a new phenomenon. But it has become increasingly widespread, and its effects have touched nearly everyone in America.

  • The illegal drug industry has lead to a dramatic increase in criminal activity.

Between 50-70 percent of all persons taken into the criminal justice system test positive for one or more drugs at the time of their arrest.

  • Laws for drug offenses are getting harsher, even for their first offense.

There are arguments for both side of drug use, especially marijuana.

  • Those in favor of legalizing it say that it should be used for medicinal purposes.
  • Those against the legalizing of it that it would lead to greater drug use, increase in deaths, and increase in other drug related problems.