Wisconsin Is The Drunkest State In America, Study Shows, So You Know Where To Party This 4th Of July Weekend
When I think of heavy drinking, two situations come to mind: keg stands at frat parties, or tailgating before a Southern college football game. That Southern beer-swilling reputation, however, might be undeserved — according to a recent study published on Detox.net, Wisconsin is the drunkest state in America, and the runners-up aren't anywhere near the Mason-Dixon line either. Who knew that the Land of Cheese and Really Freakin' Cold Winters is also secretly the Land of Pounding Beers?
The survey looked at the drinking habits of American adults between 2011 and 2013, and a whopping 65.33 percent of adults in America's Dairyland reported having at least one drink in the past thirty days. D.C. wasn't far behind, with 65.03 percent of adults reporting the same. According to Detox.net, wine is the most popular choice among D.C. residents, which isn't really doing anything to dispel the city's reputation for being boring. (Sorry.)
The runners-up were all Northern states as well: Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts came in third through fifth, respectively. Is anyone else noticing a trend in cold weather and alcohol consumption? (Not that you should drink to keep warm, no matter how good an idea it seems: alcohol dilates your blood vessels and makes it easier for you to get hypothermia. Stay safe, kiddos.)
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The results are most likely a combination of factors, including the popularity of breweries and nightclubs, lower alcohol taxes, and lax drinking laws. As Detox.net points out, Wisconsin actually allows minors to drink in restaurants or bars as long as they're accompanied by a parent or guardian, and the state is known for its comparatively lenient drunk driving legislation. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that Wisconsin also placed first in terms of heavy drinking (defined as men who have more than two drinks a day, and women who have more than one) and binge drinking (five or more drinks at a time for men, four for women).
In contrast, Utah was named the driest state, with less than 30 percent of adults reporting that they drink, followed by West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama. Detox.net writes that this is probably due to religious reasons — the Mormon church outright bans alcohol, and Southern Baptists frown upon it — as well as strict laws regarding the sale of liquor.
<img class="article-body-image" src="http://media.giphy.com/media/gGujlTFSlXNAc/giphy.gif" alt="RealityTVGIFs animated GIF " height="450" width="490"/>The study also looked at drinking habits, with some interesting results. Older people drink less, the study found, but they tend to drink more often. Unsurprisingly, drinking appears to peak during most people's early twenties, although there is a spike when they hit middle age, and a hilariously tiny one at age 80. Thank you, science, for that mental image of a bunch of octogenarians partying during weekly bridge club. To check out illustrations of the findings, head over to Detox.net. Images: plainanddryjokes/Tumblr, Giphy