Las Vegas Sun

November 24, 2014

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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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  1. Come on Vegas, we can do much better! Let's start right now...cocktail?

  2. "We bested Buffalo, Houston and Seattle, but Boston, Milwaukee and Reno beat us by a long shot." I am rarely disappointed in the Sun's reporting and writing. However, I am appalled with the at least marginal "lightness" with which this story was written. More than than, to put the consequences of this issue in the last paragraph, "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," is either just plain poor writing or poor reporting.

  3. New Orleans? Off the list? Really? It's the only city that I've ever thought put Vegas to shame in the alcohol department.

  4. My former employer, Bechtel, had a serious problem in Louisiana. There is a lot of large, messy, dirty construction in NO, and we lost several high paid superintendents and engineers when they screwed up drunk on jobs there. Funny, it was the booze plus the pretty Cajun women that brought about their firing. I almost got nailed, too, but got transferred just in time to Houston. Love you, Alice Fontenot....

  5. Only 14th....that's a little embarrassing.

    I know I do my part.

  6. Better than I would have expected.

  7. Only 15 a month? Liars.

  8. I followed the link to the actual list and Las Vegas was 36th with a low rate of liver cancer.

    Seems we are relatively healthy by comparison.

  9. 14th? Re-count!

  10. I'm doing my part. Hiccup. (sorry)

  11. So, if the survey excluded visitors, then what are the results if they INCLUDE them? Perhaps we'd be #1 ??

  12. Polls are often mis-leading. It would be better to track how much alcohol is sold per city per year and then average it out. That would cover the tourist numbers. I just find this article more amazing how we accept all of the driving fatalities due to alcohol consumption which is ok in our society and smoking is the new bash vice to pick on. I never knew a fatality driving a car caused by a smoker? I just think it is a Hoot to listen to the nanny do gooders complain about second hand smoke and then go have a few drinks drive their car impaired and that is ok. More people are killed each year on the nations highways than were killed each year in Vietnam where they tried to kill each other. ODD what we accept as a society.

  13. This is ridiculous, how does a city that serves alcohol 24/7 finish only 14th?

  14. They must have measured in most of the locals Casinos. The "Free" Drinks are like drinking Anti-Freeze. They keep you from ever doing that again.

  15. Where does Las Vegas rank as far has having had the drunkest(former) mayor, Oscar Goodman?
    I bet he's number one!

  16. Some of your comments are hilarious, but of course there has to be ONE who has to make their tea party/republican political statement!!

    <<Only 15 a month? Liars>>

    LOLOLOL That's a little over 3 drinks a WEEK!!! A WEEK!!! NO WAY!!!! Especially for those sitting around their pools when it is 110 degrees!! 3 cold ones would be the norm for an afternoon at the pool!!

    I also think that other cities consume more alcohol than Vegas. But in many cities, cities that have neighborhoods not dependant on cars, not everyone gets in their car and drives home. They take taxis, public transportation or just walk.