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Winter months bring highest average level of inebriation study says

18 Dec

Photo: Jeffrey Smith/Creative Commons

Photo: Jeffrey Smith/Creative Commons

Beer, as everyone knows, is an alcoholic beverage and as such, if consumed too heartily, can lead to inebriation. For a serious beer-lover, one who enjoys the flavors of a well-crafted beer along with the company of good friends, drunken stupor is not the goal. Nonetheless, during the months of December through March, becoming legal pissed (that’s British for drunk), is a far too common occurrence.

Sure, a few pints with friends along with a good meal is just the thing to end a long work week with or celebrate a momentous occasion, but drinking to excess is just senseless – and an appalling waste of good beer. Take these startling statistics for instance:

During the winter months of December through March, the average Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is higher than any other time of the year. The legal threshold that determines impairment is 0.06%.

  •  The average BAC is above 0.06% nearly 75 percent of days during this time period; the rest of the year, the average BAC is above 0.06% only 50 percent of days
  • More than five out of every seven days have an average BAC above 0.06%

These figures are not just pulled from a hat, BACtrack a company that produces personal and professional breathalyzers used data culled from apps associated with their products to find out just how drunk we are in the United States.

What they found, in addition to the above data, is that 14 of the 15 biggest drinking days of the year, all of which have an average BAC of 0.08% or higher, fall between December and March.

  • The days with the highest average BACs include: December 6th and 7th (0.087% and 0.088%); New Year’s Eve (0.094%); January 18th and 19th (0.090% and 0.088%) and January 25th (0.093%); Super Bowl Weekend – February 1st and 2nd (0.090% and 0.091%) and February 15th – the day after Valentine’s Day (0.092%); March 7th and 8th (0.088% and 0.088%) and St. Patrick’s Day Weekend – March 14th and 15th (0.087% and 0.094%)
  • The only other day out of the entire year with an average BAC of 0.08% or higher in 2014 was the Saturday before Cinco de Mayo – May 3rd (0.090%)

In addition to the press release below, BACtrack has also created several interactive websites to help illustrate the areas of the country and days of the year that have the highest average levels of inebriation.

Please enjoy craft beer responsibly and never drink and drive. If you have had too much to drink, call a cab or alternative means of transportation (see bottom of article for an offer from The Jax Beer Guy and Uber).

To explore the sites go to:

Full Press Release

 SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – December 18, 2014 – According to a new report just released by BACtrack®, the leader in personal and professional-grade breathalyzers, December through March is the peak drinking season in the United States, with the average BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) level above the legal limit over 35 percent of the time. The data was gleaned from nearly 300,000 unique BAC tests that were collected anonymously from users of BACtrack Mobile and BACtrack Vio smartphone breathalyzers. Notable insights are detailed below and the full results, including interactive data, can be viewed here.

“Our goal is to shed light on alcohol consumption habits so consumers can make smarter decisions when drinking,” said Keith Nothacker, president of BACtrack. “We hope this report will make consumers more aware of how much alcohol they consume when at a bar with friends or while drinking eggnog at a holiday party so they can ultimately stay safe.”

Drinkers Stay Warm with Alcohol: Most Alcohol Consumed During Winter Months

BACtrack found that between December 1st and March 31st, the average BAC is higher than any other time of the year.

  • The average BAC is above 0.06% nearly 75 percent of days during this time period; the rest of the year, the average BAC is above 0.06% only 50 percent of days
  • More than five out of every seven days have an average BAC above 0.06%

What makes this particularly interesting is that research shows drinkers are “buzzed” and experience stimulating effects such as increased energy and self-confidence when they have a BAC of 0.055% or lower. At 0.06%, drinkers reach peak stimulation and the euphoric effects of alcohol take place. Once they surpass the 0.06% threshold (called the “Point of Diminishing Returns”), the depressant effects of alcohol, such as fatigue, lack of balance and poor coordination, begin to kick in and drinkers are more likely to appear “drunk” to those around them. They are also more likely to have horrible hangovers.

BACtrack also found that 14 of the 15 biggest drinking days of the year, all of which have an average BAC of 0.08% or higher, fall between December and March.

  • The days with the highest average BACs include: December 6th and 7th (0.087% and 0.088%); New Year’s Eve (0.094%); January 18th and 19th (0.090% and 0.088%) and January 25th (0.093%); Super Bowl Weekend – February 1st and 2nd (0.090% and 0.091%) and February 15th – the day after Valentine’s Day (0.092%); March 7th and 8th (0.088% and 0.088%) and St. Patrick’s Day Weekend – March 14th and 15th (0.087% and 0.094%)
  • The only other day out of the entire year with an average BAC of 0.08% or higher in 2014 was the Saturday before Cinco de Mayo – May 3rd (0.090%)

Highest BACs? East Out Drinks West

When it comes to the highest average BACs for the month of December, the top five cities and states fall on or to the east of the Mississippi River.

  • The cities with the highest average BACs include: Waltham, Massachusetts (0.133%); Jersey City, New Jersey (0.132%); Champlin, Minnesota (0.124%); New Orleans, Louisiana (0.123%); Greenville, South Carolina (0.111%)
  • The states with the highest average BACs include: Iowa (0.122%), Arkansas (0.113%), Alabama (0.112%), Maine (0.107%), and Tennessee (0.106%)

When it comes to the lowest BACs, every region is covered.

  • The cities with the lowest average BACs include: Brighton, Colorado (0.006%); Walnut Creek, California (0.013%); Huntington Beach, California (0.013%); Columbus, Ohio (0.014%); Redwood City, California (0.015%)
  • The states with the lowest average BACs include: Mississippi (0.026%), New Hampshire (0.029%), Wyoming (0.031%) and New Mexico (0.036%)

This is the second Alcohol Consumption Report BACtrack has released that provides insights into drinking habits throughout the U.S. You can view the first report here.

Methodology

Data was collected anonymously from users of the BACtrack app, which syncs with both the BACtrack Vio and BACtrack Mobile smartphone breathalyzers, and represents nearly 300,000 unique BAC tests collected over 13 months. Data used in the report was collected from users with location services turned on and does not represent data from all users.

About BACtrack

San Francisco­‐based BACtrack is the U.S. leader in breathalyzers, offering a full range of innovative products for both personal and professional use. Founded in 2001, BACtrack helps people monitor their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) and make informed decisions about alcohol consumption. In 2013, BACtrack launched BACtrack Mobile, the world’s first smartphone breathalyzer that uses police­‐grade fuel cell sensor technology and Bluetooth connectivity. It has since won Popular Science’s 2013 ‘Best of What’s New’ Award for its innovation in health, and an Edison Award for Industrial Design. BACtrack breathalyzers are available in 20 countries and at over 15,000 store locations, including Walgreens, Costco and Best Buy stores, and can be purchased online at Amazon, Walmart.com, and Target.com. BACtrack products have been featured on Oprah’s All Stars, The Dr. Phil Show, The Doctors, and MythBusters. Connect with BACtrack via Twitter and on Facebook. For more company information, visit www.bactrack.com.

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Posted by on December 18, 2014 in Beer Education

 

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