Denver, city with biggest boozers

According to a new magazine survey, Denver tops the list of boozing cities in the United States, followed by Anchorage, Alaska and Colorado Springs.

by: Kristina Cooke | 22 Nov 2007

The mile high city in Colorado also edged out Omaha, Nebraska and Fargo, North Dakota, which rounded out the five cities with the biggest drinking problem in the ranking of urban inebriation in Men's Health.

Dave Zinczenko, the editor in chief of the magazine, said the aim of the ranking was to provide a "statistical sobriety check" heading into the holiday season.

"We wanted to find out which cities are the most dangerously drunk. Perhaps the thin air in Colorado is making people a little thick headed when it comes to drinking limits and designating drivers," he explained in an interview.

The survey looked at data from the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, the FBI and the US Department of Transportation and annual death rates due to alcoholic liver disease.

It also analysed binge drinking rates, number of drunk-driving arrests, the percentage of fatal accidents involving intoxicated motorists and tallied the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) report card of state efforts to cut down on excessive drinking.

Liz Whitley, a director at Denver Health, the public healthcare safety net organisation for the Colorado city, said she was not surprised by the findings.

"Binge drinking is an issue for us in Denver and has been historically," she said. "We are working to increase access to treatment for people with alcohol abuse problems."

Three cities in Texas, San Antonio, Austin and Lubbock, were among the top 10 most dangerously drunk cities, while Durham, North Carolina, Miami, Florida and Buffalo, New York were at the bottom of the ranking.

About 1.4 million people are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol each year, according to the magazine but it said MADD estimate that for every driver that is stopped another 88 are never pulled over.

Denver is home to the Molson Coors Brewing Co and the annual Great American Beer Festival, while its home state Colorado is the biggest beer producer in the United States, according to the Washington-based Beer Institute.

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