As with anything, there are rules in photography and rules in life. The rules in life are often hard facts whereas photography, an art, has rules that are loose.
Typically, I don’t aim for dark pictures, but some subjects and locations call for it. I felt this was one that called for it. Striking a balance between light and dark are usually important, but sometimes the darkness can illustrate the true darkness of the subject, a problem or the future.
In this photo, after someone called 911, the man tried to explain how sober he was to police and paramedics. The Metro Officer gave him a choice of the hospital or jail. After the man thought wholeheartedly about the two choices, he picked the hospital.
Prior to police arriving he fell over the edge of a wall, hit his head and then stumbled over to a set of steps leading down to the edge of the Cumberland River and passed out.
Police and rescue spend a considerable amount of time on intoxication calls. Officers often give the choice of a hospital visit or a jail visit in order to allow someone time to sober up or even seek help. The reasoning, is the fear of someone accidentally harming themselves just as this gentleman proved was likely. Of course not on purpose, but on accident.
The FBI National Crime Report annually lists over 1,500,000 arrests for public intoxication. Of course, not all agencies report total statistics to the FBI.
Auto Vehicle Accidents:
An analysis of alcohol dependence among trauma center patients found that the prevalence of alcoholism was substantially higher among vehicular crash victims and other trauma patients than among the equivalent general population group. More than half of trauma patients with a positive BAC at the time of the trauma were diagnosed as alcoholics. – SOURCE: "Alcoholism at the Time of Injury Among Trauma Center Patients: Vehicular Crash Victims Compared with Other Patients,# Accident Analysis and Prevention, Vol. 29, No. 6, 1997.
Crime and Alcohol:
Among the 11.1 million victims of violence each year, 1 in 4 were certain that the offender had been drinking before committing the crime. – U.S. Dept. of Justice
About 1 in 5 alcohol-related incidents involved a weapon other than the offender’s hands, feet, or fists. – U.S. Dept. of Justice
About a third of all convicted inmates in local jails described themselves as having been daily drinkers at the time of the offense. – U.S. Dept. of Justice
Alcohol and College:
Death: It is possible that more than 1,800 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol- related unintentional injuries, including motor-vehicle crashes -Hingson et al. 2009
Roughly 20 percent of college students meet the criteria for an alcohol use disorder in a given year (8 percent alcohol abuse, 13 percent alcohol dependence). -Blanco et al. 2008
95% of all violent crime on college campuses involves the use of alcohol by the assailant, victim or both. – National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.
Excessive drinking is responsible for more than 4,300 deaths among underage youth each year, and cost the U.S. $24 billion in economic costs in 2010. –Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Treatment Vs. Criminal:
One study found that each dollar spent on substance abuse treatment saved $5.60 in terms of fewer arrests, incarcerations, food stamp use, and less child welfare and medical costs. In other words, if $75,000,000 were spent on public intoxication arrests last year, then $13,392,857.14 could have been saved and utilized for treatment. . – National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.
“A man who drinks too much on occasion is still the same man as he was sober. An alcoholic, a real alcoholic, is not the same man at all. You can't predict anything about him for sure except that he will be someone you never met before.” ― Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye