This work arose out of a belief that there was a need for a book which introduced readers to the debate about the relationship between alcohol and crime and the way in which the criminal justice system responds to those who offend after consuming alcohol. To many people, the link between alcohol and crime is self-evident. However, research (see Chapters 2 and 3) suggests that the link is far more complicated than is assumed both in popular discourse and in the official response to offences committed after the offender had been drinking. Consequently it is difficult to determine what the appropriate legal response should be. In England and Wales, as in other jurisdictions, the current legal position is controversial and appears in part to be based on assumptions that require, and lack, empirical verification (Dingwall 2003).