Alcohol Policies and Alcohol Involvement in Intimate Partner Homicide in the U.S.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) results in deaths of both primary and corollary (i.e., nonintimate partner) victims. Alcohol use is a known risk factor for IPV, yet the relationship between alcohol policies and IPV homicides is unclear. This repeated cross-sectional study characterizes alcohol involvement, and the relationship between alcohol policies and alcohol involvement, among victims of IPV homicides in the U.S.
Homicide victim data from 17 states in the National Violent Death Reporting System from 2003 to 2012 were analyzed in 2017–2018. Alcohol Policy Scale scores characterized alcohol policies by state year and were used in generalized estimating equation logistic regression models to predict the odds of alcohol involvement among victims of IPV homicide.
Among victims of IPV homicide, 36.5% of primary and 41.1% of corollary victims had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) >0.00%. Of the victims with a positive BAC, 67.6% had a BAC ≥0.08%. In adjusted models, a 10–percentage point increase in Alcohol Policy Scale score was associated with reduced odds of having a positive BAC and having a BAC ≥0.08% among all victims, primary victims, and corollary victims.
Alcohol use was prevalent among victims of IPV homicide, and more-restrictive alcohol policies were associated with reduced odds of alcohol involvement. Strengthening alcohol policies is a promising strategy to reduce alcohol-involved IPV homicide victimization.