America's Top 10 Alcohol-Drinking Cities—and 10 Most Sober Cities, Too

In parts of the country, nearly 1 in 10 adults drinks heavily. Elsewhere, fewer than 1 percent do.


With Christmas and New Year's almost upon us, you may be raising your glass and downing the spirits more than you're used to—along with many others. According to a nationwide poll released this year, most adults who attended work holiday parties said drunken bad behavior can often result. And insulting the boss is the least of it; nearly 60 percent of the surveyed partygoers saw a coworker drive while drunk.

The poll, by Caron Treatment Centers, a not-for-profit organization for addiction treatment, helps explain some disturbing statistics reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Half of the almost 400 traffic deaths on Christmas 2006, and more than half of the 456 New Year's deaths that year, were alcohol-related.

But don't forget, the risks of heavy alcohol consumption exist year-round. And heavy drinkers—classified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as men who have more than two drinks a day or women who have more than one drink a day—can pose a threat to those around them.

The list below ranks the 10 U.S. metropolitan areas—defined as counties or groups of counties with a population of 10,000 or more—with the highest rates of heavy drinking. A second list identifies the 10 metro areas with the lowest rates. Is heavy drinking a problem in your community?

Photos: America's Top 10 Booziest Cities


America's Top 10 Most Sober Cities

Most Sober Metro Areas % Who Don't
Drink Heavily
1. Provo-Orem, Utah 99.4
2. Idaho Falls, Idaho 97.9
3. Hickory, N.C. 97.8
4. Ogden, Utah 97.5
5. Brownsville, Texas 97.2
5. Fayetteville, N.C. 97.2
5. Raleigh, N.C. 97.2
5. Wichita, Kan. 97.2
9. Cheyenne, Wyo. 97.0
9. Farmington, N.M. 97.0

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention