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Interviewing intoxicated eyewitnesses: A review of the effect of alcohol on witnesses’ recall and new steps forward.

Conference contribution
Authors Angelica Hagsand
Christopher Altman
Jacqueline Evans
Nadja Schreiber Compo
Published in Fishschrift - Applied Cognition and the Cognitive Interview: A conference in honor of Dr. Ron Fisher
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Psychology
Language en
Keywords alcohol, eyewitness memory, recall, retention interval, repeated interviewing
Subject categories Psychology


Many witnesses are intoxicated during the crime, and/or during the investigative interview. Jurors and experts often perceive these witnesses as less credible than sober witnesses. However, the present literature review shows that, in experimental studies, witnesses with a low to moderate blood alcohol concentration (<0.10%) rarely differs from sober or placebo witnesses in terms of accuracy and quantity of information recalled. When a negative effect of alcohol was found, the effect was small and mostly targeted to the quantity of the details and not the accuracy. The present review will further summarize and discuss studies that provide insight into the timing of interviewing intoxicated witnesses (e.g., directly after the crime whilst intoxicated or after a delay when sober), and which interview approach/techniques to use in order to extract as much correct information as possible from intoxicated witnesses.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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