Intoxicated witnesses and victims are over-represented in the legal system. However, their access to a fair trial might be compromised as many lay people and law enforcement professionals consider their testimony as unreliable. Research examining the impact of alcohol intoxication on eyewitness memory has surged over the last 10 years, but compared to other areas of psychology it is still an under-researched domain. The majority of studies have found that mild to moderate alcohol intoxication can lead to less complete, but not necessarily less accurate, memory accounts. Higher doses of alcohol might increase the number of errors reported. Police officers should interview intoxicated witnesses as soon as possible after the incident has taken place, as research as shown that the detrimental impact of time is larger than that of alcohol on eyewitness memory reports. Little is known yet about the underlying mechanisms responsible for alcohol-related detrimental effects on memory performance. Future research should try to disentangle pharmacological effects from metacognitive effects.
|Title of host publication||The handbook of alcohol use|
|Subtitle of host publication||understandings from synapse to society|
|Editors||Daniel Frings, Ian P. Albery|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Number of pages||20|
|Publication status||Published - 18 Jan 2021|