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Wisconsin leads nation in binge drinking

Although Wisconsin has had the top rank when it comes to their college and professional football teams, they rank number one in a category that is not so flattering — number one in the nation for binge drinking.

According to a 2010 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 38 million adults in the United States binge drink approximately four times per month. Wisconsin is leading the nation with 26 percent of its people binge drinking.

What constitutes binge drinking? It’s usually defined as having four drinks for women and five for men in timeframe of a few hours. The study also shows that binge drinkers ages 18-24, report drinking nine drinks, which is one more than the national average.

So what are the consequences? Binge drinking can lead to many problems, one being pulled over for OWI. Recently, Wisconsin has cracked down on drunk driving, but some feel there is a need for improvement. In an effort to reduce drunk driving, supporters for tougher legislation suggest that Wisconsin could increase its alcohol sales tax, which has been at the same rate since 1969.

Binge drinking is a serious problem everywhere, not just in Wisconsin. There are many consequences for binge drinking and they include:

  • More than 40,000 deaths are reported each year as a result of binge drinking.
  • It contributes to drunk driving and domestic violence.
  • CDC officials estimate it cost the United States $223.5 billion in 2006.
  • Most impaired drivers binge drink.
  • Binge drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning.

Being convicted of OWI in Wisconsin could come with serious consequences. A driver could lose their license, serve jail time, probation or pay a large fine. An attorney who specializes in OWI could help individuals minimize these consequences and advise them on the best course of action.

Source: Hudson Star-Observer, “Our View: Wisconsin is again number 1,” Jan. 25, 2012

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