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Published January 13, 2014, 07:20 PM

Fargo tops list as drunkest city in America

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Fargo-Moorhead reigns supreme at the top of a national cities list, but it's not be the kind of list we want to be leading. Fargo has been named the drunkest city in America.

By: Brian Abel, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Fargo-Moorhead reigns supreme at the top of a national cities list, but it's not be the kind of list we want to be leading. Fargo has been named the drunkest city in America.

Bustle.com crunched numbers from a national Center for Disease Control study and it appears that we here in Fargo-Moorhead like alcohol a bit more than the next town - and maybe a little too much - with 28.2% of the surveyed saying they have binged, and 9.6% saying they have drank heavily within the last 30 days of the survey.

Robyn Litke-Sall - Fargo-Cass Public Health: "What the stats say is that there is a definite alcohol problem here, and there is a culture of drinking.”

The list combined the percentage of people who said they have either binge drank, or drank heavily - giving F-M a 37.8% total the highest surveyed.

Heavy drinking is defined as a weekly average of 15 drinks for men and 8 drinks for women, with binge drinking being 5 drinks for a man and 4 drinks for a woman in 1 sitting.

Jesse Johnson - Manager, Labby’s Grill & Bar: "There's a lot of things to do in Fargo it seems - in my opinion, I guess, and it seems like everyone does it with a drink in hand."

The consumption has a cost, not just for the drinker, but for the state as well.

Robyn Litke-Sall: "In our state the total cost of alcohol is $419,600,000.”

That annual cost, which exceeds tobacco abuse numbers, includes the cost of medical expenses, emergency response services and work productivity loss related to alcohol use.

So why does Fargo-Moorhead rank so high?

Jesse Johnson: "When it's -60 out, it kind of warms you up to have a drink I guess.”

But Litke-Sall suggests the culture of our city and the access to alcohol is the root cause.

Robyn Litke-Sall: "We have 180 liquor licenses just in the city of Fargo. So, the amount of alcohol that's available, the cost of alcohol is very inexpensive; We have a lower tax on it.”

But there is a silver lining. Recent stats show encouraging numbers for high school and college drinking.

Robyn Litke-Sall: "Between 2007 and 2013 there was actually a 33% decrease in binge drinking among our high school students within our region."

Number 2 on that list is Columbus, Nebraska followed by Mizzoula, Montana.

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