The vast majority of people in the United States have consumed alcohol. In 2019, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reported that more than 85% of individuals who were legal adults had consumed alcohol at some point. In the last year, 69.5% of people had consumed alcohol. Most people do not entirely abstain and will have a drink from time to time.
But occasional drinking is much different than consistent use or even alcohol addiction. Binge drinking is something that is done by roughly a quarter of all young people, where they drink with the intent of intoxication. And the government has also identified an emerging trend that they call high-intensity drinking. This is different than binge drinking but does mean consuming about three times the amount of alcohol recommended for that person’s gender. Women are typically recommended to have less alcohol than men.
Alcohol use disorder
At the far end of the spectrum is something known as AUD or Alcohol Use Disorder. This has been identified in about 5.3% of all Americans who are 12 years old and older. That may sound like a small percentage, but when you consider the total population of the United States, it works out to almost 15,000,000 people.
Those who are addicted to alcohol may be at greater risk of getting arrested on drunk driving charges. They may not even feel that they are all that impaired because they are so used to drinking regularly. But their blood alcohol concentration could be above the legal limit, unbeknownst to them, which could lead to an arrest. Those who do face charges need to know what legal options they have.