Big cities like New York City, Chicago, and Miami are probably appearing on a number of lists detailing the most sober cities in America. The drunkest cities on this list were chosen based on binge drinking rates and alcohol-related traffic accidents, as well as the annual alcohol sales per capita. The drunkest cities in the country may come as a complete and total shock to you. See for yourself below.
Number Ten: Bakersfield, California. Bakersfield averages nearly 12 arrests per day for people driving under the influence, according to Bakersfield Police Department statistics. The city has some pretty interesting dive bars – Guthrie’s Alley Cat, The Mint and Vip Lounge. Since about the early 90s, the number of college students who binge drink has not really changed for better or for worse.
Number Nine: Tucson, Arizona. Residents of Tucson consume an average of 14.2 drinks per month. Of the city’s population, 16.8% label themselves as binge drinkers, and it has become a growing trend with bored teenagers. When you’re ready to drink a cold one and socialize, Tucson’s bar scene does not seem to disappoint.
Number Eight: Lubbock, Texas. What is the drinking scene like in Lubbock, Texas? A lot of alcohol is purchased through convenience stores, with some of the top bars being Local Bar and Grill, The Blue Light and The Gas Light. If you’ve never been to or never heard of Lubbock, it is located in the northwestern part of Texas, a region known historically and geographically as the Llano Estacado.
Number Seven: San Antonio, Texas. The second city in Texas to be featured on our list will not be the last. In San Antonio, 19.4% of residents fall under the category of binge drinkers. An average of 14.2 drinks is consumed per person every month.
Number Six: St. Louis, Missouri. In St. Louis, an average of 14.4 drinks are consumed per person each month, and 18% of residents can be categorized as binge drinkers. The city also has fantastic wine bars as well as craft breweries. Some bars to check out late at night are the Handle Bar, Par Lounge and Nick’s Irish Pub.
Number Five: Austin, Texas. Definitely one of the most consistently drunk cities in the nation, the average person in Austin consumes nearly 14.6 drinks per month. About five percent of the population are considered heavy drinkers, and 18.4% of the population consider themselves to be binge drinkers.
Number Four: Riverside, California. Perhaps it’s better to drink more alcohol in California, what with the drought and all. The most populous city in the Inland Empire, Riverside, is fourth on our list and home to a couple very enticing establishments; Heroes Restaurant & Brewery and Mezcal Cantina Y Cocina are both popular in the downtown area.
Number Three: Billings, Montana. Billings is the largest city in the state of Montana, with a population of about 166,855. There are a total of eight microbreweries in the metropolitan area, and Billings has more breweries than any city in the entire state. Here is a comprehensive list of the downtown breweries: Yellowstone Valley Brewing Co, The Montana Brewing Co, Carters Brewery, Himmelberger Brewing Co, Angry Hank’s Tap Room and Überbrew.
Number Two: Reno, Nevada. As it turns out, while Reno may be small, it sure does hold a lot of liquor. Nevada’s “biggest little city” is home to one of America’s biggest binge drinking communities – which happens to include 18.1% of the population. An average of 14.5 drinks are consumed per person a month in the city of Reno.
Number One: Fresno, California. The third California city on our list, Fresno has a population of about 500,000 and is located 200 miles north of Los Angeles. The median age for Fresno residents is 29, and the number of bars within 15 miles is 106.