What is the Drunkest City in Florida?

Recently, Tampa was included in a list of the top ten “most sinful” cities in America. Due to high rates of debit card debt, gambling addiction, smoking, and theft, the list, compiled by WalletHub, found that Tampa was right up there with bigger cities like Las Vegas, Miami, and Atlanta. But embarrassed Tampa residents can take comfort in one thing. Tampa might be a sinful city, but at least it isn’t the “drunkest” city in Florida!

And the “Drunkest City” is . . .

The “honor” of being the drunkest area in Florida falls to the Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin area in the panhandle. In this metropolitan area, 20.8% of adults drink heavily or binge drink, according to a study by the Center for Disease Control. Binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks in a single occasion, while heavy drinking is considered to be eight drinks per week for women and 15 per week for men.

In other parts of Florida, only 17.4% of adults report heaving drinking or binge drinking. This sets Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin apart from the rest. Florida, as a whole, is below the national average of 18.0%, but this specific area is in the top 10% of drunkest cities.

Unsurprisingly, Crestview-Fort Walton-Beach-Destin also has a high amount of drunk driving accidents. 39.4% of accidents in this area are alcohol-related, compared to the statewide average of 28.2%. This means that not only are adults in this area drinking excessively, which can cause a wide array of health problems, but that they are also making the reckless decision to endanger others through their actions.

Who Else Made the List?

While the panhandle is a popular party destination for spring break, it might seem strange that a larger city, like Miami, Orlando, or even Tampa, doesn’t have the state’s worst alcohol problem. But in plenty of other states, the cities with the most binge drinking and alcohol-related accidents aren’t capitals, college towns, or even big suburbs. The cities that join Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin in the worst 10% are:

  • Fairbanks, Alaska
  • Dover, Delaware
  • Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, Hawaii
  • Iowa City, Iowa
  • Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana
  • Portland-South Portland, Maine
  • Columbia, Missouri
  • Missoula, Montana
  • Lawton, Oklahoma
  • Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Casper, Wyoming

The cities in the bottom 25%, with the lowest amount of drunk-driving accidents, include the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford area of Virginia, Salt Lake City in Utah, Santa Fe in New Mexico, and Lincoln, Nebraska.

Better Luck Next Year!

While we’re glad to see Tampa Bay doesn’t have the most drunk driving fatalities in Florida, we’d still like to see a decrease in drunk driving accidents all across the state. By next year, we hope all cities in Florida can make it onto some more positive lists!


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.


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