ABC TV's Four Corners reporter, Janine Cohen tells the story of one young man who did nothing more than take his girlfriend out to a club. Without provocation he was attacked, his skull fractured and his life changed forever. The story of alcohol abuse didn't end there. His attacker, who'd consumed 10 cans of bourbon and cola, was arrested, found guilty and sentenced to six years jail. His family was devastated.
Despite such occurrences, the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) argues that alcohol isn't the only cause of violence and its increasing intensity. The organisation claims that drugs are the real problem and that people must take more personal responsibility.
"Well it's a society problem, it's not the AHA's problem. The AHA work closely with the community, work closely with government, works closely with police to ensure they provide safe venues."
Out on the streets, Four Corners found a rather different picture. Accompanying police on patrol, it soon became clear that alcohol and violence are close companions. The cameras captured the moment when police themselves are attacked, and go with the paramedics who are forced to clean up the carnage after violence flares. At the hospital emergency ward things are no better. Doctors and nurses are forced to tend to a constant stream of people who've become victims of alcohol-related violence.
Read more: Four Corners, February 25, 2013