A DRUNKEN brawl in the street or a pub could change your life forever.
Whether itís a lengthy prison sentence as the instigator or life-changing injuries as the victim, the consequences of alcohol-fuelled violence continue long after the effects of the booze have worn off.
You are more likely to get involved in a fight while under the influence of alcohol as you are not fully in control of your actions or aware of your surroundings and other people.
Binge drinking can cause a usually placid character to get involved in arguments and turn violent.
But just one punch could result in the death or serious injury to the victim.
If you do, you will end up being arrested and could ultimately face a judge at crown court. Being drunk is not an excuse or mitigating factor for an assault in the eyes of the law. On the contrary, a judge is more likely to pass a stronger sentence if an assault was alcohol-fuelled as a deterrent to others. Even if you have no previous convictions you could face a long spell behind bars.
Even a minor scuffle could see you get a criminal conviction which will impact on your future career plans or freedom to travel. In the current economic climate, employers will have plenty of other candidates with a clean record to choose from. Some countries, such as the US, also do not allow access for those with a criminal record.
When you are intoxicated you may also be unable to defend yourself as much as you would when sober.
Victims of drunken assaults can suffer horrendous injuries, from glass attacks which can be fatal or result in permanent scarring to the face, to sustained beatings even after a victim has been knocked unconscious.
If you are thinking of heading out on a drinking session, think very hard about the potential consequences:
Donít risk waking up in a hospital bed or a prison cell. Donít let alcohol call the shots.