Blood alcohol highest on holidays, Vermont in top ten

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Blood alcohol highest on holidays, Vermont in top ten

Wed, 06/11/2014 - 9:55am -- tim

For the first time, voluntary consumer blood alcohol content (BAC) data is available, providing insight into alcohol consumption patterns around the nation. The data was collected anonymously from users of BACtrack Mobile. Collectively called the BACtrack Consumption Report, the data will be regularly updated and analyzed to garner insights into global drinking habits. The US National Transportation Safety Bureau (NTSB) has recommended lowering the legal driving limit from 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent BAC. BACtrack breathalyzers are designed to help consumers understand their alcohol levels and make smarter choices. Vermont ranked among the top ten highest levels in these self-administered tests at 0.087 percent. 

"With BACtrack's technology, we are able to glean specific data, like the fact that June 22, 2013 had the highest average reading (0.115% BAC) out of any day in 2013," said Keith Nothacker, CEO and founder of BACtrack. "Our goal is to enlighten the general public on alcohol consumption habits so that they become more responsible drinkers."

Notable insights from the BACtrack Consumption Report are detailed below. The full results can be viewed here.

BAC Data by Time and Day

  • The average BAC result is 0.069%; Saturday night the average is 0.080%, which coincidentally is the legal driving limit in all 50 U.S. states.
  • Nearly half of BACtrack users have tested themselves at least once on a Saturday night between midnight and 4 a.m.
  • 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday is the golden hour: it's the time with the highest breathalyzer usage. Twenty-five percent of BACtrack Mobile users have tested themselves or a friend at this time.
  • Having a BACtrack device helps determine if someone else is over the legal limit: tests on friends average 0.085% BAC, while self-tests average 0.066% BAC.

Seasonality and Holiday BAC Data

  • The highest average BAC days for U.S. drinkers: New Year's Eve (0.095%), Super Bowl Sunday (0.087%), Valentine's Day (0.081%) and Fourth of July (0.079%).
  • New Year's Eve 2013 wasn't the highest average single day for drinking; five other dates in 2013 hold the top five spots.
  • Drinkers aren't just stuffing themselves full of turkey: users had higher average BACs on Thanksgiving Day (0.064%) than for Christmas Day (.055%), Halloween (0.056%) and St. Patrick's Day (.057%).
  • Thanksgiving Day usage peaks at 7 p.m., while New Year's Eve usage dramatically increases after midnight.
  • Valentine's Day and Christmas Eve have users drinking earlier in the day than holidays like St. Patrick's Day and the Fourth of July.
  • New Year's Day had the single highest number of unique users and the greatest number of tests - nearly double that of any other day. The next highest day for number of tests: Christmas Day.

BAC Data by Geography

  • Montana and South Dakota have the highest average BAC results in the country, each with 0.10%. Rounding out the top ten are West Virginia (0.098%), Oklahoma (0.096%), Idaho (0.089%), Vermont(0.087%), Tennessee (0.087%) - and all with 0.086%, Wisconsin, Nevada and Massachusetts.
  • The five states with the lowest BAC are New Hampshire (0.012%), Delaware (0.026%), Utah (0.031%),Arkansas (0.037%), and Wyoming (0.051%).
  • Californians have lower average BACs than New Yorkers: 0.01% less on average.
  • Dallas, TX, Oakland, CA, Scottsdale, AZ and Indianapolis, IN have the highest average BAC results (0.091-0.90% respectively); higher than Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City, NY.
  • Houston, TX (0.034% BAC) and Columbia, SC (0.041% BAC) have two of the lowest averages.
  • Users in Minneapolis, Denver, and Portland test themselves the most.
  • While Los Angeles has roughly half as many users per capita as San Francisco, Los Angeles users are 40 percent more active, with 14 tests per user versus 10 per user for San Franciscans.


Data for the study is collected anonymously from users of BACtrack Mobile, and represents more than 100,000 unique BAC tests collected over 12 months. BACtrack Mobile users are in over 35 countries, and in all 50 U.S. states. Data used in the BACtrack Consumption Report is collected from users with location services turned on and does not represent data from all users.

How a BACtrack Breathalyzer Works

When alcohol is consumed, it is absorbed from the mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines into the bloodstream. As blood flows through the lungs, alcohol in the bloodstream moves across the membranes of the lung's air sacs (alveoli) into the air. The concentration of the alcohol in the alveolar air is directly related to the concentration of the alcohol in the blood. As the alveolar air is exhaled, the alcohol in it can be detected by the BACtrack.

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About BACtrack
San Francisco-based BACtrack is the North American leader in breathalyzers, offering a full range of innovative products for both personal and professional use. Founded in 2001, BACtrack helps people monitor their blood alcohol content and make informed decisions about alcohol consumption. In 2013, BACtrack launched BACtrack Mobile, the world's first Smartphone breathalyzer that uses fuel cell sensor technology and Bluetooth connectivity and has since won Popular Science's 2013 'Best of What's New' Award for its innovation in health. BACtrack breathalyzers are available in 20 countries and at over 10,000 store locations including Walgreens, Best Buy, Pep Boys and seasonally at Costco. BACtrack products can also be purchased online at, Amazon, Brookstone, and BACtrack products have been featured on Oprah's All Stars, The Dr.Phil Show, The Doctors, and MythBusters. Connect with BACtrack via Twitter and on Facebook. For more company information, visit

SOURCE SAN FRANCISCO, June 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- BACtrack