Friday, January 2, 2015

Americans Drink More During the Winter Season

     I ran a cross an article the other day about the drinking habits of Americans.  It seems that we do more drinking during the winter months than any other time of the year.  It is an interesting article based on data collected by BACTrack, the makers of breath analyzers. 

     December through March is the peak drinking season in the United States, with the average blood alcohol content (BAC) above the legal limit over 35 percent of the time, according to a report by BACtrack. 

     "Our goal is to shed light on alcohol consumption habits so consumers can make smarter decisions when drinking," Keith Nothacker, president of BACtrack, said in a statement. "We hope this report will make consumers more aware of how much alcohol they consume when at a bar with friends or while drinking egg nog at a holiday party so they can ultimately stay safe." 

     Drinkers Stay Warm with Alcohol: Most Alcohol Consumed During Winter Months.   BACtrack found that between December 1st and March 31st, the average BAC is higher than any other time of the year.   The average BAC is above 0.06% nearly 75 percent of days during this time period; the rest of the year, the average BAC is above 0.06% only 50 percent of days.   More than five out of every seven days have an average BAC above 0.06%.   

     What makes this particularly interesting is that research shows drinkers are "buzzed" and experience stimulating effects such as increased energy and self-confidence when they have a BAC of 0.055% or lower. At 0.06%, drinkers reach peak stimulation and the euphoric effects of alcohol take place.   Once drinkers surpass the 0.06% threshold, the depressant effects of alcohol, such as fatigue, lack of balance and poor coordination, begin to kick in and they're more likely to appear "drunk" to those around them. They are also more likely to have horrible hangovers. 

     BACtrack also found that 14 of the 15 biggest drinking days of the year, all of which have an average BAC of 0.08% or higher, fall between December and March.

The days with the highest average include: 

    December 6th and 7th (0.087% and 0.088%)

    New Year's Eve (0.094%)

    January 18th and 19th (0.090% and 0.088%)

    January 25th (0.093%)

    Super Bowl Weekend - February 1st and 2nd (0.090% and 0.091%)

    February 15th - the day after Valentine's Day (0.092%)

    March 7th and 8th (0.088% and 0.088%)

    St. Patrick's Day Weekend - March 14th and 15th (0.087% and 0.094%) 

     The only other day out of the entire year with an average BAC of 0.08% or higher in 2014 was the Saturday before Cinco de Mayo - May 3rd (0.090%)
     I guess that the cold weather and having to spend so much more time indoors really has an effect on Americans.  The article show that the East drinks more than the west and This is some very interesting information and it gives us a perspective on the drinking habits of Americans.   December is the month with the highest consumption, something that I understand with the advent of the loss of daylight savings time and darkness greeting you as you arrive home from work.  Cold weather is also setting in and it is a bit depressing not seeing the daylight except during working hours.  
     Oh well, December is over and we're are starting a new year.  The days are gaining daylight at the rate of about a minute a day.   All is getting better and the outdoors will soon be a part of our daily routine shortly.   ;o)