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Alcohol Intoxication, Impact on Eyewitness Memory

Alcohol consumption has a significant effect on eyewitness identification abilities, including the accuracy of perpetrator descriptions and identification accuracy in showups (an identification procedure where only one individual is shown to the witness) and lineups (an identification procedure where several individuals, usually six in the United States, are shown to the eyewitness). Understanding the effects of alcohol consumption on memory is critical for the police, investigators, prosecutors, defense counsel, judges, and jurors to be able to judge the veracity of statements and evidence that are put forward in cases where alcohol consumption was present.

The research to date that has examined the effects of moderate levels of alcohol intoxication on eyewitness memory and identification accuracy has found that intoxicated witnesses are less likely to be ...

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