Ubering After Dark — in Wisconsin

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines heavy drinking as 15 or more drinks for men and eight or more for women on a weekly basis. On average, 18% of American adults fall into this category, but the percentage is over 25% in Wisconsin.

Did you know that there isn’t a state law in Wisconsin prohibiting minors from drinking alcohol? That’s right: provided Mom and Dad (or some suitable “guardian”) says it’s OK, your 13 year old can enjoy his or her favorite cocktail with you at your favorite watering hole.

Not that I’m suggesting familial company might have something to do with excessive alcohol consumption in Wisconsin, but if you’re traveling America’s Heartland, keep this in mind: Seven of the top 10 “drunkest cities in America” are in Wisconsin (actually, nine of the top 12). And while more DUIs per capita are issued there than in other parts of America, the data suggest the police are far more lenient in Wisconsin.

America’s “drunkest” cities are:

  • Appleton, Wisconsin
  • Oshkosh, Wisconsin
  • Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Madison, Wisconsin
  • Fargo, North Dakota
  • La Crosse, Wisconsin
  • Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
  • Ames, Iowa
  • Eau Claire, Wisconsin
  • Mankato, Minnesota

After grabbing statewide honors, Appleton, Wisconsin, stumbled-in with the national distinction, with nearly 27% of its residents self-reporting that they drank excessively. That’s a figure that in no small way benefits from the city having nearly three times the number of bars per 10,000 residents than the average count across all other cities (nearly 400) surveyed.

Interestingly, a whopping 13% of residents in two Utah cities topped “the driest cities” studied, suggesting that even in cities where “no one drinks,” more than 10% of its residents are likely and regularly flirting with DUIs.

Some experts will tell you that the Germanic and Scandinavian ancestries of Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota have something to do with it. And others will say that it’s the dreary weather.

Don’t believe it.

Although there are, in fact, a strikingly high number of beautiful blondes who like to drink a lot beer in Wisconsin — and the winters are long and cold as hell — no one should make such sweeping generalizations. Slave to data that I am, if Uber were to begin publishing ride counts (per capita) after midnight, we might actually be able to confirm something.

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First Voice

  1. Jason Busch:

    It’s Friday … I myself have been to a few of those bars.

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