Alcohol and Injury: Drunk-Dialing Can Be the Least of Your Problems

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Alcohol and Injury: Drunk-Dialing Can Be the Least of Your Problems

Shocker: Getting schnockered increases your risk of physical injury. I know. You just got heart palpitations from that surprise, right?

In addition to prompting strings of rage-texts to your ex and endangering friendships with people who don’t appreciate it when you barf on their carpet, overindulging in alcoholic libations can make you clumsy as well as less risk-averse. For some people, less risk-averse is good (the numbers aren’t in on drunk day-trading yet but I’ll keep you posted). For others, it suddenly seems like a good idea to jump into the swimming pool from the third story and you might misjudge your trajectory.

In a study that might have been commissioned by Captain Obvious, has assembled some, um, sobering statistics regarding dumb stuff people do when they’re loaded. A few highlights? Glad you asked!

Pop quiz: What’s the culprit behind the majority of drunk-injuries in the US?

C)Cinnamon Schnapps

Okay, my money would’ve been on tequila all the way, because it seems to make people a specific semi-psycho kind of drunk, followed by vodka because I secretly believe it’s the liquor of people with anger issues, followed by the schnapps because you have to be clown-shit crazy to be drinking that in the first place. However, beer takes the prize by a long mile: 58% of reported booze-related injuries were beer induced.

What place are you most likely to go from toasted to the ER?

A)Baseball game
B)Wedding or bachelor/ette party
C)High school reunion
D)Home, drinking for no particular reason

If you went to my high school, you’d definitely rule out reunion weekend, which is much more of an occasion for Xanax. My guess would definitely have been events surrounding the sacred event of matrimony, which are rough on sober people in my experience. But in point of fact, your home is statistically where you’re likely to fall in the bathroom and knock out your teeth, step on the shoe you kicked off and land upside down with a sprained ankle, or sustain a head wound from walking into, or through, a glass patio door. I feel we might need some serious drill-down on this part, actually, because I personally have nailed my hand to a retaining wall, whacked my head hard enough to knock me on my butt, chipped a tooth on a coffee mug, accidentally grabbed the handle of a skillet that had just come out of a 400 degree oven and thrown my back out while unclogging a toilet and, on two separate occasions, walked into a patio door that was so squeaky-clean it appeared to be open, and I was sober as a judge in every single instance. I’m statistically less likely to injure myself at home if I’ve had a couple of drinks because I’m much more likely to be parked on the couch with a book or a movie. Perhaps I am an outlier.

What’s the percentage of people who have been in a physical brawl while soused?


Raise your hand if you assumed it was 50%. I was actually surprised it’s as low as 23%. The number one reason for punching someone’s lights out when you’re lit is “Don’t remember.” (Awesome.) Following that are “family debate escalated” and “defending a friend or family member.” My grandpa once decked a dude at Lefty O’Doul’s for saying he looked like W.C. Fields. He apparently did regret it the next day, as he did not particularly enjoy violence. He just… really enjoyed whiskey. Which exacerbates male-pattern rosacea, which can indeed make you resemble W.C. Fields. Just a data point.

This study is actually kind of hilarious except for the part where it’s sad and the part where it’s disturbing. Check out all the gory details here.

And a special note to readers in the Southwest: You really, really do not want to get tanked and fall into a large cactus. Be careful out there! Those saguaros are meaner than the meanest mean drunk.

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