In the introduction it was noted that this was an opportune time to consider the link between alcohol and crime and the way that the state responds to offending by those who had been drinking alcohol. From the way the government talk about the issue, one could be mistaken for thinking that the problem was becoming worse, even if research suggests that the opposite is the case (Budd 2003). This should not surprise us as there are many examples of criminal justice ‘crises’ that generated sustained media coverage and which, on closer inspection, were found to lack originality.