People are more racist and homophobic when they're drunk, researchers have found.
The study suggests that alcohol can act as an "ignitor" for some - who are more likely to express their prejudices in the form of hate crime, Cardiff University said.
They analysed the experiences of 124 injured victims of violence in accident and emergency rooms in three cities across Britain.
The study - published in the journal Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health - was carried out in Cardiff, Blackburn and Leicester. It found that about a fifth of those interviewed said they had been attacked by people motivated by prejudice.
Drunkenness accounted for 90% of the attacks while seven people said their appearance was the main motive - blaming racial tensions within their communities.
Eight victims said they thought they were attacked because of their race, religion or sexual orientation.
Professor John Shepherd, director of the Cardiff University Crime and Security Research Institute said that the results discovered that most attacks were not fuelled by hate alone, but that alcohol appeared to ignite a fuse. He said:
Our findings suggest that tackling alcohol abuse is not only important in regards to the health of individuals but also to the health of our society. Additionally, we have learned that emergency room violence surveys can act as a community tension sensor and early warning system.
LGBTI rights advocate Edwin Sesange told indy100 he is worried the study might be used as a scapegoat for racism and homophobia. He says perpetrators of such attacks should not blame their crimes on alcohol, adding:
I call upon the police and the justice system to go hard on people who commission such crimes. The findings are worrying especially if you are black and LGBT living in the UK.
Many victims said they believed limiting alcohol consumption would be a good strategy to reduce the risk of attacks.