Interesting article by Christopher Ingraham of the Washington Post discusses how data on total monthly alcohol sales in the United States carries a time-tested seasonal trend: the spikes in December of each year.
Clearly, the holidays are traditionally a time for boozing it up.
For example, the Department of Health and Human Services recently updated the official federal statistics on the percent of state residents ages 12 and older who drink at least once a month. Also, Ingraham’s article discusses how various direct and indirect measures of alcohol consumption, including breathalyzer data, Web searches for hangover relief and alcohol-related traffic deaths all suggest that peak American drinking happens between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
New England is home to the nation’s heaviest drinkers – New Hampshire, where about 64 percent of residents age of 12 or older drink monthly, is tops in the country. Vermont, Maine and Connecticut also come in at drinking rates above 60 percent. Hard-drinking cheese heads in Wisconsin see to it that their home is the only Midwestern state in the top tier of American drinkers.
Ingraham discusses how the next tier of heavy drinking states are all in the northern part of the country. Some researchers posit that there may be a relationship between heavy drinking and latitude. At the country level, alcohol consumption tends to increase the farther you get away from the equator. This could be a function of the potential for boredom and depression during winter months when the nights are long and the days are short. For a prime example of this, see recent stories involving alcohol and misconduct among people who live in Antarctica.
Ingraham discusses other cultural factors affect some States’ attitudes about drinking. On the map above, take a look at Utah and particularly Idaho. They’re in the bottom tier of the states for drinking frequency. Utah, where only 31 percent of adults drink in a given month, comes in dead last. This is almost certainly because of the large Mormon populations in those states — 58 percent of Utahans are Mormon, as are 24 percent of people in Idaho. Mormonism generally prohibits the use of alcohol and other drugs.
There’s likely a similar religious influence in places Alabama, Mississippi and the other Southern states where drinking is low. Those states have large evangelical Christian populations, many of whom are abstainers.
HOLIDAY DUI PATROLS IN WASHINGTON STATE
Coincidentally, the Washington State Patrol announced its increased Holiday DUI Patrol campaign of “Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over.” Our State Troopers are extremely proactive in reaching their Target Zero goal of zero traffic fatalities by 2030.
Also, our local police and sheriff’s offices are working very hard responding to incidents of domestic violence, burglary, assault and other criminal incidents associated with holiday celebrations.
SEEK COMPETENT LEGAL REPRESENTATION IF YOU FACE CRIMINAL CHARGES THIS HOLIDAY SEASON.
For many, the holiday season is a joyous time when family and friends get together and celebrate. Naturally, our holiday merriment could involve the libations of alcohol and/or legal (and illegal) drugs.
We must enjoy the holidays safely and responsibly. Unfortunately, incidents of domestic violence, DUI, and other criminal behaviors – intentional or otherwise – can dampen our holiday festivities.
It’s never desirable to face criminal charges which could negatively affect your life for years to come. However, if you, friends or family find themselves in situations involving law enforcement, jail and/or criminal charges then contact the Law Office of Alexander Ransom as soon as possible. I staunchly defends my clients’ constitutional rights to a fair trial, just proceedings and the suppression of evidence involving unlawful searches, seizures and self-incrimination. My practice involves saving people’s careers and reuniting families by seeking reductions and dismissals of criminal charges when appropriate.
-Alex Ransom, Esq.