Latest News

Knight Ridder state sidebars

WASHINGTON—Among Californians, alcohol consumption per person dropped 31 percent between 1982 and 2003, the latest year for which data is available. Nationwide, the decline averaged 20 percent.

Drinking of beer, wine and spirits all fell in that period, dropping California's rank as an alcohol-consuming state from 11th to 29th. That was the steepest decline of any state, based on consumption figures compiled by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Beer drinking in California fell almost 23 percent, wine 31 percent and spirits 43 percent, the survey found. The findings are based on ethanol tax receipts for alcoholic beverages. This method produces a figure for pure alcohol consumed, neutralizing differences in alcohol content among beers, wines and liquors.

California's drop in alcohol consumption, plus tougher drinking-and-driving laws and enforcement, helped to produce dramatic reductions in highway fatalities associated with drinking. In 1982, 36 percent of California drivers in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In 2003, just 18 percent did.

Fatal crashes involving drunken drivers in California fell from 2,102 in 1982 to 1,019 in 2003, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The alcohol abuse institute's figures on ethanol consumption per capita include all persons 14 and over, not just legal drinkers.

———

By Banks Albach

Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON—In Delaware, alcohol consumption per person fell about 4 percent between 1982 and 2003, the latest year for which data is available. Nationwide, the decline averaged 20 percent.

Drinking of beer and spirits both fell, but wine consumption increased in the period, lifting Delaware's rank as an alcohol-consuming state from 11th to 4th, according to figures compiled by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Beer drinking in Delaware fell 10 percent and spirits fell 14 percent, while wine increased 65 percent, the survey found. The findings are based on ethanol tax receipts for alcoholic beverages. This method produces a figure for pure alcohol consumed, neutralizing differences in alcohol content among beers, wines and liquors.

Reduced consumption, along with tougher drinking-and-driving laws and enforcement, helped to produce dramatic reductions in highway fatalities associated with drinking. In 1982, 40 percent of Delaware drivers in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In 2003, just 20 percent did.

Total fatal crashes involving drunken drivers fell from 68 in 1982 to 48 in 2003 in Delaware, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The alcohol abuse institute's figures on ethanol consumption per capita include all persons 14 and over, not just legal drinkers.

———

By Banks Albach

Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON—Among Floridians, alcohol consumption per person dropped 20 percent between 1982 and 2003, the latest year for which data is available. Nationwide, the decline averaged 20 percent also.

Drinking of beer and distilled spirits both fell, while wine consumption increased, dropping Florida's rank as an alcohol-consuming state from 6th to 7th by 2003, according to figures compiled by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Beer drinking in Florida fell 15 percent and spirits 35 percent while wine increased by 1 percent, the survey found. The findings are based on ethanol tax receipts for alcoholic beverages. This method produces a figure for pure alcohol consumed, neutralizing differences in alcohol content among beers, wines and liquors.

Florida's drop in alcohol consumption, plus tougher drinking-and-driving laws and enforcement, helped to produce dramatic reductions in highway fatalities associated with drinking. In 1982, 29 percent of Florida drivers in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In 2003, just 19 percent did.

Total fatal crashes involving drunken drivers fell from 1,018 in 1982 to 834 in 2003 in Florida, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The alcohol abuse institute's figures on ethanol consumption per capita include all persons 14 and over, not just legal drinkers.

———

By Banks Albach

Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON—Among Georgians, alcohol consumption per person dropped 11 percent between 1982 and 2003, the latest year for which data is available. Nationwide, the decline averaged 20 percent.

Beer drinking in Georgia rose 6 percent, and wine 24 percent while distilled spirits dropped 37 percent, over that time span, according to figures compiled by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Georgia ranks 37th as an alcohol-consuming state.

The findings are based on ethanol tax receipts for alcoholic beverages. This method produces a figure for pure alcohol consumed, neutralizing differences in alcohol content among beers, wines and liquors.

Georgia's drop in alcohol consumption, plus tougher drinking-and-driving laws and enforcement, helped to produce dramatic reductions in highway fatalities associated with drinking. In 1982, 34 percent of Georgia drivers in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In 2003, just 15 percent did.

Total fatal crashes involving drunken drivers fell from 550 in 1982 to 332 in 2003 in Georgia, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The alcohol abuse institute's figures on ethanol consumption per capita include all persons 14 and over, not just legal drinkers.

———

By Banks Albach

Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON—In Idaho, alcohol consumption per person dropped nearly 10 percent between 1982 and 2003, the latest year for which data is available. Nationwide, the decline averaged 20 percent.

Drinking of beer and spirits both fell, but wine consumption more than doubled, raising Idaho's rank as an alcohol-consuming state from 32 to 24 between the same years, according to figures compiled by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Beer drinking in Idaho fell 22 percent and spirits by 33 percent while wine rose 106 percent, the survey found. The findings are based on ethanol tax receipts for alcoholic beverages. This method produces a figure for pure alcohol consumed, neutralizing differences in alcohol content among beers, wines and liquors.

Idaho's drop in alcohol consumption, plus tougher drinking-and-driving laws and enforcement, helped to produce reductions in highway fatalities associated with drinking. In 1982, 32 percent of Idaho drivers in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In 2003, just 21 percent did.

Total fatal crashes involving drunken drivers fell from 93 in 1982 to 74 in 2003 in Idaho, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The alcohol abuse institute's figures on ethanol consumption per capita include all persons 14 and over, not just legal drinkers.

———

By Banks Albach

Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON—In Illinois, alcohol consumption per person dropped 17 percent between 1982 and 2003, the latest year for which data is available. Nationwide, the decline averaged 20 percent.

Beer drinking in Illinois fell more than 11 percent and spirits 30 percent in the period, while wine consumption remained steady, according to figures compiled by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The state fell from 23rd to 25th in alcohol consumption over the period.

The findings are based on ethanol tax receipts for alcoholic beverages. This method produces a figure for pure alcohol consumed, neutralizing differences in alcohol content among beers, wines and liquors.

Illinois's drop in alcohol consumption, plus tougher drinking-and-driving laws and enforcement, helped to produce dramatic reductions in highway fatalities associated with drinking. In 1982, 34 percent of Illinois drivers in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In 2003, just 22 percent did.

Total fatal crashes involving drunken drivers fell from 731 in 1982 to 446 in 2003 in Illinois, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The alcohol abuse institute's figures on ethanol consumption per capita include all persons 14 and over, not just legal drinkers.

———

By Banks Albach

Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON—In Indiana, alcohol consumption per person dropped 12 percent between 1982 and 2003, the latest year for which data is available. Nationwide, the decline averaged 20 percent.

Beer drinking in Indiana fell 14 percent and distilled spirits 16 percent over that time period while wine increased nearly 17 percent. That dropped Indiana's standing as an alcohol-consuming state from 40th to 42nd, based on figures compiled by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The findings are based on ethanol tax receipts for alcoholic beverages. This method produces a figure for pure alcohol consumed, neutralizing differences in alcohol content among beers, wines and liquors.

Indiana's drop in alcohol consumption, plus tougher drinking-and-driving laws and enforcement, helped to produce dramatic reductions in highway fatalities associated with drinking. In 1982, 31 percent of Indiana drivers in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In 2003, just 15 percent did.

Total fatal crashes involving drunken drivers fell from 388 in 1982 to 187 in 2003 in Indiana, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The alcohol abuse institute's figures on ethanol consumption per capita include all persons 14 and over, not just legal drinkers.

———

By Banks Albach

Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON—Among Kansans, alcohol consumption per person dropped 7 percent between 1982 and 2003, the latest year for which data is available. Nationwide, the decline averaged 20 percent.

Beer drinking in Kansas fell nearly 6 percent and spirits 16.5 percent while wine increased 31 percent over that time period, according to figures compiled by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The net result was a drop in Kansas's rank as an alcohol-consuming state from 45th to 47th.

The findings are based on ethanol tax receipts for alcoholic beverages. This method produces a figure for pure alcohol consumed, neutralizing differences in alcohol content among beers, wines and liquors.

Kansas's drop in alcohol consumption, plus tougher drinking-and-driving laws and enforcement, helped to cut highway fatalities associated with drinking. In 1982, 30 percent of Kansas drivers in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In 2003, just 25 percent did.

Total fatal crashes involving drunken drivers fell from 196 in 1982 to 165 in 2003 in Kansas, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The alcohol abuse institute's figures on ethanol consumption per capita include all persons 14 and over, not just legal drinkers.

———

By Banks Albach

Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON—In Kentucky, alcohol consumption per person dropped 13 percent between 1982 and 2003, the latest year for which data is available. Nationwide, the decline averaged 20 percent.

Beer drinking in Kentucky fell nearly 10 percent and spirits 23 percent while wine increased 25 percent in that time period, according to figures compiled by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services the survey found. Kentucky's rank as an alcohol-consuming state dropped from 46th in 1982 to 49th in 2003.

The findings are based on ethanol tax receipts for alcoholic beverages. This method produces a figure for pure alcohol consumed, neutralizing differences in alcohol content among beers, wines and liquors.

Kentucky's drop in alcohol consumption, plus tougher drinking-and-driving laws and enforcement, helped to produce dramatic reductions in highway fatalities associated with drinking. In 1982, 32 percent of Kentucky drivers in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In 2003, just 16 percent did.

Total fatal crashes involving drunken drivers fell from 326 in 1982 to 205 in 2003 in Kentucky, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The alcohol abuse institute's figures on ethanol consumption per capita include all persons 14 and over, not just legal drinkers.

———

By Banks Albach

Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON—In Michigan, alcohol consumption per person dropped almost 22 percent between 1982 and 2003, the latest year for which data is available. Nationwide, the decline averaged 20 percent.

Beer drinking in Michigan fell 13 percent, wine 33 percent and spirits 28.5 percent in the period, according to figures compiled by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Michigan's rank as an alcohol-consuming state fell from 29th in 1982 to 35th in 2003.

The findings are based on ethanol tax receipts for alcoholic beverages. This method produces a figure for pure alcohol consumed, neutralizing differences in alcohol content among beers, wines and liquors.

Michigan's drop in alcohol consumption, plus tougher drinking-and-driving laws and enforcement, helped to produce dramatic reductions in highway fatalities associated with drinking. In 1982, 37 percent of Michigan drivers in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In 2003, just 17 percent did.

Total fatal crashes involving drunken drivers in Michigan fell from 690 in 1982 to 317 in 2003, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The alcohol abuse institute's figures on ethanol consumption per capita include all persons 14 and over, not just legal drinkers.

———

By Banks Albach

Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON—Among Minnesotans, alcohol consumption per person dropped more than 12 percent between 1982 and 2003, the latest year for which data is available. Nationwide, the decline averaged 20 percent.

Beer drinking in Minnesota fell 11 percent and spirits 19 percent while wine increased 7 percent, according to figures compiled by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Minnesota's rank as an alcohol-consuming state rose from 26th in 1982 to 16th in 2003.

Minnesota's drop in alcohol consumption, plus tougher drinking-and-driving laws and enforcement, helped to cut in highway fatalities associated with drinking. In 1982, 33 percent of Minnesota drivers in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In 2003, just 23 percent did.

Total fatal crashes involving drunken drivers in Minnesota fell from 253 in 1982 to 198 in 2003, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The alcohol abuse institute's figures on ethanol consumption per capita include all persons 14 and over, not just legal drinkers.

———

By Banks Albach

Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON—In Mississippi, alcohol consumption per person increased by about 1 percent between 1982 and 2003, the latest year for which data is available. Nationwide, consumption declined 20 percent.

Beer drinking rose nearly 18 percent and wine 9 percent while distilled spirits consumption in Mississippi fell 24 percent over that period, according to figures compiled by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The net effect was to raise Mississippi's rank as an alcohol-consuming state from 42nd in 1982 to 34th in 2003.

The findings are based on ethanol tax receipts for alcoholic beverages. This method produces a figure for pure alcohol consumed, neutralizing differences in alcohol content among beers, wines and liquors.

Over the 1982-2003 period, Mississippi highway fatalities associated with alcohol fell sharply. In 1982, 35 percent of Mississippi drivers in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In 2003, just 23 percent did.

Total fatal crashes involving drunken drivers in Mississippi fell from 316 in 1982 to 258 in 2003, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The alcohol abuse institute's figures on ethanol consumption per capita include all persons 14 and over, not just legal drinkers.

———

By Banks Albach

Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON—In Missouri, alcohol consumption per person dropped 5 percent between 1982 and 2003, the latest year for which data is available. Nationwide, the decline averaged 20 percent.

Beer drinking in Missouri fell by nearly 4 percent and spirits 14 percent while wine increased by 19 percent over that time period, according to figures compiled by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In the process, Missouri's rank as an alcohol-consuming state rose from 35th to 26th.

The findings are based on ethanol tax receipts for alcoholic beverages. This method produces a figure for pure alcohol consumed, neutralizing differences in alcohol content among beers, wines and liquors.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 32 percent of Missouri drivers in fatal crashes in 1982 had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In 2003, just 23 percent did.

But the total fatal crashes involving drunken drivers in Missouri increased from 362 in 1982 to 381 in 2003, according to NHTSA.

The alcohol abuse institute's figures on ethanol consumption per capita include all persons 14 and over, not just legal drinkers.

———

By Banks Albach

Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON—In New Jersey, alcohol consumption per person dropped 22 percent between 1982 and 2003, the latest year for which data is available. Nationwide, the decline averaged 20 percent.

Drinking of beer, wine and spirits all fell, dropping New Jersey's rank as an alcohol-consuming state from 18 to 27 over the 1982-2003 time period, according to figures compiled by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Beer drinking fell 22 percent, wine 4 percent and spirits 30 percent in New Jersey, the survey found. The findings are based on ethanol tax receipts for alcoholic beverages. This method produces a figure for pure alcohol consumed, neutralizing differences in alcohol content among beers, wines and liquors.

New Jersey's drop in alcohol consumption, plus tougher drinking-and-driving laws and enforcement, helped to produce dramatic reductions in highway fatalities associated with drinking. In 1982, 31 percent of New Jersey drivers in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In 2003, just 18 percent did.

Total fatal crashes involving drunken drivers in New Jersey fell from 419 in 1982 to 191 in 2003, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The alcohol abuse institute's figures on ethanol consumption per capita include all persons 14 and over, not just legal drinkers.

———

By Banks Albach

Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON—Among North Carolinians, alcohol consumption per person dropped 6 percent between 1982 and 2003, the latest year for which data is available. Nationwide, the decline averaged 20 percent.

Drinking of beer and wine both went up, while distilled spirits went down over that time period, according to figures compiled by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

North Carolina's rank as an alcohol-consuming state remains low—41st—but that's up from 44th in 1982.

Beer drinking in North Carolina increased 13 percent and wine 29 percent while distilled spirits fell 39 percent, the survey found.

The findings are based on ethanol tax receipts for alcoholic beverages. This method produces a figure for pure alcohol consumed, neutralizing differences in alcohol content among beers, wines and liquors.

North Carolina's drop in alcohol consumption, plus tougher drinking-and-driving laws and enforcement, helped to produce dramatic reductions in highway fatalities associated with drinking. In 1982, 36 percent of North Carolina drivers in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In 2003, just 18 percent did.

Total fatal crashes involving drunken drivers in North Carolina fell from 597 in 1982 to 376 in 2003, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The alcohol abuse institute's figures on ethanol consumption per capita include all persons 14 and over, not just legal drinkers.

———

By Banks Albach

Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON—Among North Dakotans, alcohol consumption per person dropped 8 percent between 1982 and 2003, the latest year for which data is available. Nationwide, the decline averaged 20 percent.

Wine drinking in North Dakota fell 6 percent and spirits 21 percent while beer drinking remained the same over the period, according to figures compiled by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In the process, North Dakota's rank as an alcohol-consuming state shot up from 21st in 1982 to 10th in 2003.

The findings are based on ethanol tax receipts for alcoholic beverages. This method produces a figure for pure alcohol consumed, neutralizing differences in alcohol content among beers, wines and liquors.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic fatalities linked to alcohol fell in the same time period. In 1982, 41 percent of North Dakota drivers in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In 2003, just 31 percent did.

Total fatal crashes involving drunken drivers in North Dakota fell from 78 in 1982 to 43 in 2003.

The alcohol abuse institute's figures on ethanol consumption per capita include all persons 14 and over, not just legal drinkers.

———

By Banks Albach

Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON—In Ohio, alcohol consumption per person dropped 11 percent between 1982 and 2003, the latest year for which data is available. Nationwide, the decline averaged 20 percent.

Beer drinking in Ohio fell 5 percent and distilled spirits 27 percent while wine consumption stayed the same, according to figures compiled by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Over the 1983-2002 period, Ohio's rank as an alcohol-consuming state held steady at 39th.

The findings are based on ethanol tax receipts for alcoholic beverages. This method produces a figure for pure alcohol consumed, neutralizing differences in alcohol content among beers, wines and liquors.

Ohio's drop in alcohol consumption, plus tougher drinking-and-driving laws and enforcement, helped to produce dramatic reductions in highway fatalities associated with drinking. In 1982, 37 percent of Ohio drivers in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In 2003, just 19 percent did.

Total fatal crashes involving drunken drivers in Ohio fell from 764 in 1982 to 356 in 2003, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The alcohol abuse institute's figures on ethanol consumption per capita include all persons 14 and over, not just legal drinkers.

———

By Banks Albach

Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON—Among Pennsylvanians, alcohol consumption per person dropped nearly 7 percent between 1982 and 2003, the latest year for which data is available. Nationwide, the decline averaged 20 percent.

The big reason was distilled spirits, which fell 27 percent in the period, according to figures compiled by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Drinking of beer was up 1 percent while wine stayed the same. In the process, Pennsylvania's rank as an alcohol-consuming state rose from 38th in 1982 to 31st in 2003.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Pennsylvania saw significant reductions in highway fatalities over the same time period. In 1982, 34 percent of Pennsylvania drivers in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In 2003, just 21 percent did.

Total fatal crashes involving drunken drivers in Pennsylvania fell from 808 in 1982 to 465 in 2003, according to NHTSA.

The alcohol abuse institute's figures on ethanol consumption per capita include all persons 14 and over, not just legal drinkers.

———

By Banks Albach

Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON—Among South Carolinians, alcohol consumption per person dropped nearly 4 percent between 1982 and 2003, the latest year for which data is available. Nationwide, the decline averaged 20 percent.

Beer drinking in South Carolina increased 11 percent, wine 15 percent and spirits fell 26 percent over that time period, according to figures compiled by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In the process, South Carolina's rank as an alcohol-consuming state rose from 34th to 22nd.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 35 percent of South Carolina drivers in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher in 1982. In 2003, just 28 percent did.

But total fatal crashes involving drunken drivers increased from 323 in 1982 to 374 in 2003 in South Carolina, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The alcohol abuse institute's figures on ethanol consumption per capita include all persons 14 and over, not just legal drinkers.

———

By Banks Albach

Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON—Among South Dakotans, alcohol consumption per person dropped 2 percent between 1982 and 2003, the latest year for which data is available. Nationwide, the decline averaged 20 percent.

Beer drinking in South Dakota increased 17 percent while distilled spirits fell 25.5 percent and wine 11 percent over that time period, according to figures compiled by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In the process, South Dakota's rank as an alcohol-consuming state rose from 33rd to 17th.

The findings are based on ethanol tax receipts for alcoholic beverages. This method produces a figure for pure alcohol consumed, neutralizing differences in alcohol content among beers, wines and liquors.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, South Dakota saw a slight drop in alcohol-related traffic fatalities over the period. In 1982, 39 percent of South Dakota drivers in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In 2003, just 31 percent did.

Total fatal crashes involving drunken drivers in South Dakota fell from 70 in 1982 to 68 in 2003, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The alcohol abuse institute's figures on ethanol consumption per capita include all persons 14 and over, not just legal drinkers.

———

By Banks Albach

Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON—Among Texans, alcohol consumption per person dropped 23 percent between 1982 and 2003, the latest year for which data is available. Nationwide, the decline averaged 20 percent.

Beer drinking in Texas fell 20 percent and spirits 40 percent while wine increased almost 28 percent, according to figures compiled by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In the process, Texas' rank as an alcohol-consuming state fell from 19th to 32nd.

The findings are based on ethanol tax receipts for alcoholic beverages. This method produces a figure for pure alcohol consumed, neutralizing differences in alcohol content among beers, wines and liquors.

Texas's drop in alcohol consumption, plus tougher drinking-and-driving laws and enforcement, helped to produce dramatic reductions in highway fatalities associated with drinking. In 1982, 43 percent of Texas drivers in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In 2003, just 25 percent did.

Fatal crashes involving drunken drivers in Texas fell from 2,210 in 1982 to 1,258 in 2003, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The alcohol abuse institute's figures on ethanol consumption per capita include all persons 14 and over, not just legal drinkers.

———

By Banks Albach

Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON—Among Washingtonians, alcohol consumption per person dropped 23 percent between 1982 and 2003, the latest year for which data is available. Nationwide, the decline averaged 20 percent.

Beer drinking in Washington fell 21 percent, wine 13 percent and spirits more than 32 percent over that time period, according to figures compiled by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In the process, Washington's rank as an alcohol-consuming state dropped from 19th to 32nd.

The findings are based on ethanol tax receipts for alcoholic beverages. This method produces a figure for pure alcohol consumed, neutralizing differences in alcohol content among beers, wines and liquors.

Washington's drop in alcohol consumption, plus tougher drinking-and-driving laws and enforcement, helped to produce dramatic reductions in highway fatalities associated with drinking. In 1982, 42 percent of Washington drivers in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In 2003, just 23 percent did.

Fatal crashes involving drunken drivers in Washington fell from 401 in 1982 to 181 in 2003, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The alcohol abuse institute's figures on ethanol consumption per capita include all persons 14 and over, not just legal drinkers.

———

(c) 2005, Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

Need to map

  Comments