King-hit fatalities fuelled by alcohol

The study, conducted by the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine at Monash University, identified closed cases from the National Coronial Information System where death was attributed to a king hit. This was defined as any instance where a single blow to the head, neck or chest caused the individual to fall to the ground unconscious.

Of the cases where toxicology was available, 73% involved the use of alcohol and all but four were in men with a median age of 33.

Illicit drugs were detected in only 10 cases, of which cannabis was the most common. The authors said they had anticipated a higher incidence of use of stimulant party drugs in late-night assaults at drinking venues.

“This study indicated that alcohol intoxication increases the risk of victimisation not just aggressive offending,” they wrote.

“This reiterates the serious consequences of alcohol-fuelled violence in Australia.”

The study showed