By Denny Watkins
Men’s Health Magazine
New Year’s Day 1916 was rough for Colorado residents looking for a little hair of the dog. On that Saturday, the state stopped all liquor sales, predating Prohibition by 4 years.
Today, Colorado once again leads the nation in its attitude toward alcohol — but now, the mandate seems to be “drink till you drop.” In our second ranking of urban inebriation, Aurora comes in 82nd, Colorado Springs finishes 98th, and, once again, Denver is Most Dangerously Drunk.
We looked at annual death rates due to alcoholic liver disease, as well as who’s headed there by regularly downing five or more drinks in a sitting (CDC). Next, we factored in drunk-driving arrests (FBI) and the percentage of fatal accidents involving intoxicated motorists (U.S. Department of Transportation). Then, after tallying the MADD report card of state efforts to cut down on excessive drinking, we had our ranking and, for the state of Colorado, an invitation to AA.
Studies show that state laws that put strict limits on where and when alcohol can be sold help cut the number of booze-induced trips to the E.R. — and the morgue. That’s because self-destructive drinkers tend to buy alcohol impulsively and at late hours. Go to alcoholpolicy.niaaa.nih.gov to see if your state could use a stronger stance.
Roughly 1.4 million people are arrested for DUIs each year, but Mothers Against Drunk Driving estimates that for every driver cuffed, another 88 are never pulled over. Use your cellphone to lower that number. Besides the obvious indicators of intoxication, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also cites subtler signs, such as someone making extra-wide turns, going straight through a turn-only lane, or driving with his or her face close to the windshield. If the clues accumulate, make the call. (In many states, 311 is nonemergency dispatch.)
For the overall ranking, a lower ranking is better. That is, a city ranked No. 17 is less drunk than one ranked No. 89.
For the individual criteria, however, a higher ranking is better. So a city ranked No. 92 for DUI has fewer drunk-driving arrests each year than a city ranked No. 3.
98. Colorado Springs
96. Fargo, ND
95. San Antinio
St. Louis is 86; San Diego is 84; Houston is 81; Dallas is 76; Oakland is 72; San Francisco is 67; L.A. is 65; Chicago is 62; Pittsburgh is 52; Los Vegas is 47……..