The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared binge drinking the most costly and deadly form of alcohol consumption in the country.
The CDC also classifies it as the nation’s most common pattern of excessive alcohol use.
Binge drinking is defined as a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above .08 percent.
This pattern differs for men and women. A man will typically reach that BAC level when consuming five or more drinks in roughly two hours. For women, binge drinking means consuming four or more drinks in that same timeframe.
The issue affects roughly 1 in 6 adults and is most common among younger adults, ages 18 to 34. According to the CDC, binge drinking is a common occurrence among college students and a more widespread issue than many people realize.
In Colorado, drivers can be charged with a DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired) if they have a BAC of at least .05 percent. They receive a DUI if they have a BAC of at least .08 percent.
For some people, one or two drinks are enough to reach that limit, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.
On average, 1 in 5 adults in Colorado and Douglas County binge drink four times a month, and binge drinking accounts for more than half of the state’s excessive drinking deaths, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Risks associated with binge drinking include a slew of unintentional injuries, such as car crashes or alcohol poisoning. It can also lead to alcohol dependence.