Las Vegas Sun

November 28, 2015

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Las Vegas ranked No. 14 on drunkest cities list

We bested Buffalo, Houston and Seattle, but Boston, Milwaukee and Reno beat us by a long shot.

The Daily Beast on Wednesday named Las Vegas America’s 14th drunkest city.

In an analysis that some Las Vegans might question, in that it excludes consumption by tourists, the news website studied data from market-research firm Experian Simmons to examine the drinking habits of residents of 200 cities. They ranked 25. People reported the average number of alcoholic drinks they consume per month, and reporters considered the percent of the population who are binge or heavy drinkers according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The company found that the average Las Vegan drank 14.6 adult beverages a month. Residents of top-ranked Boston drank 15.5. Just over 5 percent of Las Vegas’ population are heavy drinkers and 17.5 percent are binge drinkers, the Daily Beast reported.

Residents of fourth-ranked Reno, by comparison, reported drinking a similar number of cocktails per month — 14.5 — but comprised a higher percentage of heavy and binge drinkers, 8.5 and 18.1 percent respectively.

Call it pride or shame, many readers expressed outrage at the Daily Beast’s methodology. Some complained that New York, New Orleans and Los Angeles all were left off the list. Others wondered how Sin City could rank so low.

“They obviously didn’t check the desert for passed out partiers while here in Vegas,” commenter “Sincitywingfan” wrote. “Average drinks in a month = 14? Seriously? That is an average for a night with the gamblers.”

Regardless of the city’s ranking nationally, drinking takes a heavy social toll in Las Vegas.

Drunken driving is the No. 1 cause of fatal car crashes in Nevada, as reported by the state Department of Public Safety. Forty-two percent of all crashes involve at least one impaired driver and impaired driving was responsible for 33 percent of Nevada’s roadway deaths in 2010.

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