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By Chuck Sudo in Miscellaneous on Aug 24, 2006 4:20PM

2006_08_drunk2.jpgEarlier this week, Forbes published a study where they ranked America's drunkest cities. After narrowing the list to thirty-five cities and using a template more suited to determining economic indicators, Forbes ranked the cities listed based on five factors:

- state laws regarding alcohol consumption and sales

- drinkers in a city (based on the number of people who said they had at least one drink in the past 30 days)

- heavy drinkers (based on men who said they had more than two drinks a day, and women who drank more than one drink per day)

- binge drinkers (based on respondents who had more than five drinks on one occasion)

- alcoholism (based on the number of AA meetings in an area).

With the exception of the state law factor (which Forbes could only obtain data from eight markets), higher numbers affected a city's drunkenness.

We'll stop the suspense here. Chicago ranked as the sixth most drunken city in America. Residents who participated in the study said that they've had one drink in the past month, but weren't heavy drinkers. The disturbing news is that Chicago ranked in the top five for both binge drinkers and alcoholism. This should come as no surprise to anyone who's ever negotiated Lincoln Avenue after sunset. Or read some of the comments to our posts.

We need only look a hundred miles to the north to find the drunkest city in America. Milwaukee has the largest amount of drinkers and binge drinkers per capita, placed third in the heavy drinker and alcoholism categories, and has the fourth-most lenient state laws regarding alcohol sales and consumption. So, Forbes is basically saying that what made Milwaukee famous made losers out of Milwaukee.

The other cities in the top five are Minneapolis-St. Paul; Columbus, Ohio; Boston; and Austin. We expect to see the twin cities drop now that the Vikings have new ownership, and Boston to rise, if the Red Sox don't make the postseason. If you think your city deserves to be ranked high, belly up to the bar.