When it comes to excessive drinking, you'd think Athens-Clarke -- home of the University of Georgia -- would compare well to other Georgia counties. Just go downtown on a Saturday night. Just go downtown on a football Saturday night.
Sorry to disappoint, but we're not so inebriated, at least as measured by this collection of statewide health stats. Which makes me wonder about these stats. Below, the top counties in terms of excessive drinking, with the percent (in parentheses) who report engaging in binge and heavy drinking.
1. Dawson (30%, wow)
2. Forsyth (19%)
3. (tie) Harris, Liberty, Muscogee, Fulton, and Haralson (18%)
8. Richmond (17%)
9. (tie) Chatham, Cobb, Hall, Camden,Carroll, Cherokee, and Columbia (16%)
Happily, Clarke is at 12 percent and tied at 43rd in the state with ... Oconee? You're kidding? Hell, they only recently approved restaurants selling booze (and, possibly, using electricity). Weird.
Dawson County itself site square in the middle of north Georgia. It's not poor, at least by Georgia standards. Could be retirees driving the numbers, but it's hard to say. That 30 percent is significantly higher than second place and far above the state (and national) average. Kinda looks more like Maine.