This City in Georgia Has the Highest Alcohol Consumption Rate in the Entire State

Known for its peaches, peanuts, and southern charm, Georgia has gained a reputation as one of the leading states in the US for heavy drinking. According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Georgia holds the 12th position in the nation for alcohol consumption per capita, averaging 2.4 gallons of alcohol per person annually.

However, not all cities in Georgia share the same drinking habits, with one city standing out as the top contender for the highest alcohol consumption rate: Savannah.

Savannah: A Historical and Vibrant Hub

Savannah, the oldest city in Georgia and the state’s fifth-largest with a population of approximately 145,000, is renowned for its historic architecture, cobblestone streets, and lush squares. The city boasts a lively nightlife, rich arts, and culture scene, hosting numerous annual festivals and events that draw millions of visitors. Notably, events like the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Savannah Music Festival, and the Savannah Film Festival contribute to the city’s vibrant atmosphere, often accompanied by revelry and alcohol consumption.

Savannah: Leading in Alcohol Consumption

The festive ambiance and historical significance of Savannah might explain why it clinches the title for the highest alcohol consumption rate in the entire state of Georgia. A study conducted by financial website WalletHub reveals that among 182 US cities, Savannah holds the first position for excessive drinking, with 22.8% of adults reporting binge or heavy drinking in the past month. Savannah also ranks 11th for the number of bars per capita, boasting 8.6 bars for every 100,000 residents. In contrast, the national averages for excessive drinking stand at 18%, with 5.8 bars per capita.

Savannah: Grappling with Alcohol-Related Challenges

Savannah’s elevated alcohol consumption rate brings along its share of consequences. The city faces several alcohol-related issues, including drunk driving, violence, and health concerns.

As per the CDC, Savannah records the highest rate of alcohol-impaired driving deaths in Georgia, with 5.8 deaths per 100,000 population, compared to the state average of 3.4. The city also contends with a high rate of violent crime, tallying 1,066 incidents per 100,000 population, surpassing the state average of 357. Some of these crimes may be fueled by alcohol, as studies have demonstrated a correlation between alcohol consumption and an increased risk of aggression and violence.

Moreover, Savannah grapples with a heightened rate of chronic liver disease and cirrhosis deaths, recording 14.9 deaths per 100,000 population compared to the state average of 10.4. These diseases often stem from long-term alcohol abuse, causing damage to the liver and compromising its functionality.

Savannah: Striving to Reduce Alcohol Consumption

Acknowledging its alcohol-related challenges, Savannah is actively working to mitigate the negative impacts of excessive drinking.

The city has implemented various policies and programs to curb alcohol consumption, including restricting alcohol sales hours, enforcing the legal drinking age, raising the price of alcohol, and offering education and treatment for alcohol abuse.

Collaborating with community partners such as the Savannah-Chatham County Alcohol Prevention Coalition, the Savannah Area Behavioral Health Collaborative, and the Savannah Police Department, the city aims to raise awareness and prevent alcohol-related harm. These efforts seem to be making a difference, with the CDC reporting a slight decrease in Savannah’s alcohol consumption rate, dropping from 2.9 gallons per person annually in 2012 to 2.7 gallons in 2018.


Savannah, with its captivating beauty and vibrant atmosphere, offers numerous attractions and experiences for residents and visitors alike. Nevertheless, the city grapples with a significant alcohol problem that impacts safety, health, and overall quality of life.

Boasting the highest alcohol consumption rate in the state of Georgia and ranking among the highest in the nation, Savannah faces various alcohol-related issues, including drunk driving, violence, and liver disease. While the city is actively implementing policies and programs to address excessive drinking, there is still work to be done to reshape the prevailing culture around alcohol and promote responsible and moderate drinking habits.


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