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Mind the Gap: The Key to Advancing the Science and Policy on Alcohol-Intoxicated Witnesses is to expand the Study Population and Bridge the Researcher-Practitioner Gap

Angelica V Hagsand

Alcohol-intoxicated witnesses to crimes are highly prevalent. Eyewitness testimony is crucial in criminal investigation, but there are still very few studies on how alcohol affects witnesses’ memory. Most of the existing research consists of experimental studies on social drinkers carried out in laboratories. In addition, law enforcement personnel lack knowledge and policy guidelines on how to interview and handle this potentially vulnerable witness group. This emerging research field could improve by including a broader study population in the scientific studies and developing policy guidelines for the police. The key to doing so is to bridge the researcher-practitioner gap.