Punch Drunk

Ratings: 6.79/10 from 14 users.


Punch Drunk

Australians love a drink, and some see no problem at all with drinking to excess. But now doctors, police and paramedics have called "time", warning that alcohol-fueled violence has reached crisis levels.

Read the statistics and it's hard to argue with these dire warnings. The latest figures show that each year as many as 70,000 people are involved in alcohol-related assaults.

In all, it is estimated that alcohol-related violence costs the community $187 million each year. Four Corners also reveals there's a growing body of evidence that shows a link between binge drinking and brain damage.

While the overall incidence of alcohol-related violent crime varies in each state in Australia, one thing is clear: the violence associated with alcohol abuse is getting more extreme.

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47 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Bob Trees

    Very sad. The thing I kept thinking about is that I don't think this is just an Australian problem. Something similar I'm betting it's happening in quite a few large and even smaller cities in the world.

    I'm glad I managed to make it through my 20s and 30s. And yes I did a fair amount of drinking. Just that fights weren't as common as today.

  2. matt van den ham

    I don't think this is a new epidemic, it's just that people are coming to their senses are realizing that alcohol is a major problem. Alcoholism has run in my family (and many others) for ages, violence and abuse has always been along with it. It's incredibly obvious to me that booze is the problem. What a massive waste of resources, these drunks are the reason sober people like myself are fearful of being attacked on a weekend night when walk home.

  3. matt van den ham

    i'm not sure why fighting is more extreme today than ever, it could be cocaine or crack, but it could also be the amount of knowledge available these days on brutally assaulting someone, such as MMA. Martial arts doesn't promote beat downs like MMA does, so I don't blame MA as much.

  4. bburke

    And they criticize marijuana and call it a dangerous drug.

  5. ???????? ????????

    When i lived in oz i copped the worst flogging of my life by 5 blokes at the same time. Camped out on a desolate sharky beach, surfed, meditated and waited for my injuries to heal

  6. jackmax

    Hey bburke,

    At no stage marijuana was mentioned during any type accusation of illicit drugs being a large part of the violence currently happening in the night life entertainment as there are very little non alcoholic. venues to entice the non drinkers or social people to gather.
    I served in the Australian Army for ten years in what I believe in the two best fighting units with in the defence force, I can relate to the message this documentary is trying to relay however the point abouts the drug problem is a very important contributing factor. The combination of the both may have more of a detrimental effect as to than to chief justice should admit that the systems in place have not conducted any studies to confirm or deny the AM A's theory the highest contributing factor in the raise of party induce violence, in my opinion
    I also have had the miss fortune of oversea travel and have witnessed some of the most horrific sight that another human being could inflicted on another no alcohol required to carry out those acts of unprovoked violence

  7. bringmeredwine

    My kids are in their twenties (females).
    When they were in high school, kids were just starting to record "fights" on their phones. My girls would laughingly describe these "fights" to me.
    My girls saw "nothing wrong" with watching the loser get beaten into the ground, long after they'd fallen or passed out.
    These poor victims were hospitalized with concussions from being kicked in the head, over and over, while they were unconscious!
    My kids and their fellow students completely lacked empathy.
    When I used to witness fights at school, in the dark ages; the fight ended as soon as someone "lost".
    This happened with out any alcohol, just too much testosterone.
    Can you imagine if drugs or alcohol HAD been involved?

  8. a_no_n

    the ones who think they are MMA fighters are the ones that are the most likely to crack their head open on something like the floor.

  9. MalOdour

    Madness: by all the cops risking it all for nothing, pub's open 10 hrs longer they should be , lives wrecked and nothing will change.

  10. matt van den ham

    teach your kids compassion! that's not cool, women may not do the fighting but if they are egging on the fights they are contributors/instigators in a way.

  11. matt van den ham

    yeah pot decreases testosterone and increases paranoia, these two factors make someone who is high a much less likely candidate for fighting. And get drunk and stoned and see how well you can function. Hard liquor like whisky, tequila etc are clearly the problem.

  12. bringmeredwine

    Oh believe me, I tried.
    Their peers saw nothing wrong with this violence, and my opinion didn't matter.
    And there were girls at their school fighting too.

  13. Numark80

    I'm a 32yr old male and live in Melbourne and all that kinda stuff is behind me now. But coming up in my 20s it was kinda a regular thing. Had friends go to jail, others get seriously hurt and one almost died and will never be the same again. It's really all about the company you keep, I stopped hanging around certain groups, and presto, the bs stopped. Another thing is it's probably not too much different than 15 or 20 years ago, (sharps, painters & dockers and a bunch of other clowns used to punch the s*it out of each other all over Melbourne) it's just there's a whole lot more CCTV and other surveillance to catch fights and whatnot. Also, apparently our exposure to heavy metals may have a major effect on our tendency towards violent behavior, something like a 30yr trend. Oh and if you are visiting Melbourne, it's really nothing to worry about, just avoid King st and a few other hot spots after midnight.

  14. Timmy Poo

    Smoke for peace, drink for stupidity !

  15. Michael Morency

    Maybe i'm the exception, but I can smoke AND drink with no detriment at all, I know you'll over analyze me with your scary knowledge of everything, but really i'm fine.

  16. matt van den ham

    hey if you're happy and healthy, then more power to you brother.

  17. matt van den ham

    I don't see this as a problem that's specific to Australia at all, I see this sort of behaviours occurring everywhere where large quantities of alcohol is consumed. On a side note, the English language needs some serious help in Australia! haha...The slang sounds awful!The accent is kind of nice though.

  18. matt van den ham

    where do you think they learned this disconnect and uncompassionate behaviour from?

  19. bringmeredwine

    I wish I knew.
    Their Dad was a very kind and gentle soul.

  20. matt van den ham

    is he deceased? maybe they were acting out their sorrow through discomppassion

  21. Johntechwriter

    I think one influence nobody has yet mentioned is the gansta culture of rap. Fighting is part of proving you are a man. So is shooting people.
    Rap is not in itself bad, but the lifestyle it celebrates is being reflected throughout western culture in the young-adult demographic.

  22. matt van den ham

    agreed. i'm usually the guy who defends music as just music, but rap really does influence people to think in terms of gang mentalities. But it makes you wonder, if rap didn't exist, would these people still get into trouble? probably so.

  23. Peter Ho

    I live in Australia and I can tell you guys that this is a huge problem. But I believe it's not the problem of alcohol nor drug's. People just have nothing to do at night. All shops are closed early and there aren't any other activities available at night. So what do people do? Drink alcohol. It's all driven by boredom. The officials just need to think of ways to get young people more interested in other activities.

  24. bringmeredwine

    This doc was pretty shocking to me, seeing all that senseless, alcohol-fueled violence. Even from people in their thirties! Not just teens getting loaded for the first time.
    In the film we meet a victim named Sam. It's really awful what happened to him and his family. His family by the way, were such good people and he is so lucky to have them looking after him the rest of their lives.
    His attacker served little time in jail and in my opinion he should be paying Sam and his family restitution.
    I agree with someone who commented that the bars stayed open way too late, 5:am!!!!
    I wondered where young people get all their money to party with. I thought that Australia has a really expensive cost of living.
    I've seen Aussies in action myself, and was horrified because they literally tore up the place. I couldn't get away fast enough.
    But this behaviour happens all over the world.
    I've seen a rugby team behave the same way at York U. in Toronto; and all the campus pubs ended up being closed because everywhere these guys went they hurt people and trashed the place.

  25. bringmeredwine

    They're in their twenties now.
    He died suddenly last year.
    In their teens, my kids started using MSN, going back and forth having chats online, and right away I noticed how "vicious" some of the talk was, and I immediately limited their internet usage to strictly homework.
    All their friends behaved like that, much like the kids today, who torment others on FB and Twitter.
    Now we should get back to the topic in this thread, Punch Drunk!

  26. Michael Morency

    Thanks Matty!

  27. Sieben Stern

    i think you're onto something - but it's not rap, but the concept of masculinity and what traits make you a 'man'. boys need better role models.

  28. Sieben Stern

    hm - drunk and falling over so they have brain damage? give them a darwin award and send them home. leave emergency services for people like sam.

  29. Psych3d

    More so than a long known "problem", it is a symptom of much deeper problems in our societies all around the globe. there is a difference between use and abuse...

  30. fhade

    We don't even remember the things we have done...lol. But really I am fine.

  31. TheDanishViking

    Agree completely. Beers and marijuana works fine for me. But just a few glasses of hard liquor and I find myself arguing about stupid things.

  32. Pysmythe

    Vodka... Keep me the hell away from vodka and I'm as nice a guy as you could ever meet.

  33. disqus_DckmtFvCrE

    I actually think that alcohol amplifies the mood you are already in. I have been drinking for 35 years and know what I am talking about.Sad, happy, emotional.. angry- I think the problem these days is the fact that ''some'' people are frustrated and angry with their lives because of social pressures or even the lack of good social circles which can cause an individual to have a lack of care attitude and lack of respect or understanding of others. This I think is the core problem.Too much internet and TV use and lack of good friends can cause one to lose touch with reality and most drink as we know to hide their problems.
    It's basically down to frustration with their position in societies they live in and alcohol amplifies the way they feel. Amen.

  34. matt van den ham

    yeap, the s*it should be illegal, it brings out the worst in people.

  35. I AM POP SLAG.

    This documentary, whilst incredibly interesting in its subject matter is overly dramatic, exploitative and the hollywood music it is accompanied by is downright offensive at times."-dad- dad-daaaaaaaaaa - your sons dead!- oooooor possibly a vegetable"

    I got to this point and paused it -do i continue watching? is he dead? or so f*cked up he will eat through a tube the rest of his days?

    Find out in the next installment of AUSTRALIAS MOST INEBRIATED with SHERRIFF JOHN BUNNEL .

    Tasteless,crass, sensationalist and with a highly patronising tone that informs us via the medium of fear and infers that this film will be using this tragedy to try to further a political agenda we can all agree on by the time we have all been horrified enough by the consequences of drinking as much as the english do on a saturday night.

    yep Poor Sams f*cked...heres the horrifically real details and to cement your indignation heres a passive aggressive, antagonistic policewoman to say all the things you want to say to a pissed up idiot but have the good sense not too.

  36. bringmeredwine

    Southern Comfort-my head once broke a toilet seat because I was puking so hard!
    (but I felt no compulsion to beat up anybody)

  37. Pysmythe

    I haven't had any vodka in nigh on 15 years now, and I never did get in any actual fights. But it sure did used to bring out the sharp-tongued and angry in me, and I was probably pretty lucky.

    Your name reminds me of my best friend and his wife, lol. For whatever reason, she gets verbally abusive whenever she drinks red wine. Nothing else, just red wine... All he's got to do is call me up and say, "Well, she's had a glass..." and I know well enough what he's putting up with, lol. Fortunately, it seems to be a pretty rare occurrence.

  38. bringmeredwine

    Red wine makes me feel "relaxed" But, but like you mentioned, I've noticed it can make other women become bitchy. Subject: Re: New comment posted on Punch Drunk

  39. jackmax

    G'day Mate,
    I'm an Aussie and have traveled all over world and have to agree with you about not just being an Aust. problem....
    However here in Australia we have no problem understanding the english language and our slang is a large part of our culture and what makes us who we are... Have you ever tried to listen to an Irishman after a few pints of warm ale.
    and as I've said elsewhere the poms are the only nation that use "glass" as a verb...LOL

  40. jackmax

    I've seen US marines attempt to run riot in a bar an without our presents there they pulled there heads in and enjoyed the night. All nations could make a special interest report on near on any society problem be it drugs, alcohol, obesity, crime rates and the list could go on endlessly, that does not mean than other nations and cities around the world don't have the same issues.

    I have seen groups of tourist from other countries do the same here in Australia however my opinion of that nation as a whole may or may not alter because of certain individuals from that country's actions.

  41. matt van den ham

    You mean, 'Good day' lol :-P Yeah the Irish are pretty horrible at it as well, same with Scots. But to be fair, they had their own language before the English forced them to learn their language. And the Irish and Scot accent is also funny sounding, I like it. The Australian's on the other hand have no excuse. Again the accent is cool, just don't use slang that only Australians understand. /2cents

  42. bringmeredwine

    You are so right!
    All the Aussies I've ever met were terrific; except for the hooligans tearing up the resort I was visiting..
    I'd never judge a whole country based on a few idiots.

  43. jackmax

    G'day again mate,
    May I be so rude and ask from what neck of the woods do you inhabit?
    I have on occasions expressed myself on this site using Aussie slang and most others seem to find it with the humor intended, may-be a history lesson on Australia and its heritage is in order.

  44. docoman

    You didn't seem to have any problem understanding/translating g'day. ;)

  45. matt van den ham

    I'm probably just digging myself deeper here, but it's like black slang in the states, it might sound kind of funny or cool at times but it's like an inside-joke that only a certain percentage of people will understand. Again I'm not trying to be a jerk, just my two cents. I think it's important that there's a standard method of communicating so that we're all on the same page. I'm not biased, I don't like English slang (from England) either. Just use plain, standard English--there's more than enough (millions) descriptive words available at your disposal to express yourself. Anyway, back to the main topic, we're totally off-track.

  46. 1776

    how's that gun ban working for you Australia?

  47. jim

    Yeah it has nothing to do with the fact Australia have a baby bonus and literally pay, westy bogans,to have kids.This is not confined to Australia,Everywhere all around the world we encourage the WRONG type of people to have kids,you don't see single mothers in America getting in any trouble for having 9 kids to 5 different men do you?nope,Yet if a man in America can not pay his child support he goes to jail.....

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