This Is When & Where Americans Drink The Most

Illustrated by Gabriela Alford.
It's the time of year when we find ourselves at holiday party after holiday party. That usually means quite a bit of champagne, and it seems our drinking habits aren't going under the radar: Smartphone breathalyzer company BACtrack was able to find out its users' average blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for each state and each day of the year.
The data, mined from about 300,000 BAC tests collected over 13 months, suggests that the East coast tends to outdrink the West coast during the month of December. It's not that cut-and-dry, though, as there are western and eastern states (and many of the middle ones, too) on both ends of the spectrum. Specifically, the states with the highest average BACs were Iowa (0.122%), Arkansas, Alabama, Maine, and Tennessee. On the other side, Mississippi (0.026%), New Hampshire, Wyoming, and New Mexico had the lowest average BAC levels. New York and California both landed near the middle with averages of 0.074% and 0.062%, respectively.
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The results also showed that, on average, Americans drink the most between the months of December and March. Indeed, 14 of the year's biggest drinking days (on which users have an average BAC above 0.08%) happen in this time period. We have an average BAC of above 0.06% more than five days a week during these months. Interestingly, this is the level at which research shows hangovers are more likely and more severe.
So, it looks like we all might want to be a little more aware of our drinking habits this holiday season — and stock up on ibuprofen while we can still stand the light.
Click through to see the rest of the interactive data.
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