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J Appl Psychol. 2002 Feb;87(1):170-5.

The intoxicated witness: effects of alcohol on identification accuracy from showups.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.


The effect of alcohol on identification accuracy is potentially an important topic. This study examined the effects of alcohol consumption on identification accuracy from showups, the identification procedure most likely to be used by police with intoxicated witnesses. The blood alcohol level of people exposed to a target was measured. In the target-present showup condition, blood alcohol level was not significantly related to correct identification rate. In the target-absent showup condition, the higher the blood alcohol level, the more people were likely to make a false identification. Implications for law enforcement and future research directions are discussed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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