Whether it’s grabbing shots with co-workers to celebrate hitting what seemed like an unattainable goal, toasting a glass of champagne during your besties birthday party or having a beer at sporting event or concert, many occasions in California involve some sort of alcohol. 

It really should surprise no one. According to the California Craft Brewers Association, the Golden State is home to more than 1,100 craft breweries, including the Sierra Nevada and Stone. It’s also home to some of the best known wine regions in the entire world. See California estimates that there are more than 2,843 registered wineries in their state. Producers of alcoholic beverages are a big part of the economy. Not only do they bring in billions of dollars, they provide thousands of jobs. That’s great. You love to see it. 

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

But on the consumer’s end? You want to enjoy those products in moderation. When it comes to binge drinking, there’s one part of California that takes things too far. 

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We were able to find data ranking which California counties have the highest number of citizens who drink heavily or have a habit of binge drinking. The CDC defines heavy drinking as eight or more drinks per week for a woman and 15 or more for a man. Binge drinking has more to do with the number of drinks you have during one occasion. For women, it’s four drinks per occasion. For men, it’s five. Both of these contribute to excessive drinking. 

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Here’s a look at what we discovered. Another source was able to break the data down further and pinpoint the drunkest city in California. 

These Are the Drunkest Counties in the Entire State of California

Based off data compiled by County Health Rankings, these California counties have the highest prevalence of excessive drinking and alcohol-impaired driving deaths.

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

California Has a New Drunkest City

24/7 Wall Street took a deeper dive into the stats and included a look at the number of alcohol-related driving deaths in each state’s biggest metro areas. After analyzing the numbers, they revealed that the drunkest metro area in California is Santa Rosa-Petaluma.  It was the first time that a new city found itself at the top of the list in three years. 

Photo by Yutacar on Unsplash
Photo by Yutacar on Unsplash

The research showed that 23.2% of adults admit to binge drinking or heaving drinking there. That’s nearly five percentage points higher than the state average of 18.4% 

How Have the Rankings Changed Over the Years?

Photo by Fred Moon on Unsplash
Photo by Fred Moon on Unsplash

Here’s a look back at the cities that struggled the most with their alcohol use over the last few years. 

  • 2022: San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles (22.3% of adults drink excessively)  
  • 2021: San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles (24.4% of adults drink excessively)
  • 2020: Santa Cruz-Watsonville (23.2% of adults drink excessively)

Author's Note: If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction, you can find resources to get help on the California Department of Public Health's website by clicking HERE.

KEEP READING: 19 Country Stars With Their Own Bars + Restaurants

Of all of the side hustles country artists could partake in, opening a bar or restaurant is the most fitting — and very common. After all, many of these stars got their start on a barstool, tip jar nearby, playing their music for anyone who would listen.

These places feel like home for many of these singers. Over the years, several artists have gotten into the bar or restaurant game, and for a select few, brands have turned into franchises with several locations and/or concepts — we're looking at you, Jimmy Buffett!

Let's take a look at the country star food and entertainment venues that have opened over the years.

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Gallery Credit: Ryan Antoinette Valenzuela

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