WAILUKU, Hawaii — A report says the Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina metropolitan area is the “drunkest city” in Hawaii.

An analysis by 24/7 Wall St., an online financial news and opinion outlet, reviewed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, put together by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, to identify the metropolitan areas reporting the highest levels of binge and heavy drinking in each state.

Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina was the “drunkest” statistical metropolitan area with 21.8 percent of adults being binge or heavy drinkers, the report said. That was higher than the 20.5 percent for the state and 18 percent nationally.

The analysis by state and metro areas also said the Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina area was one of only five nationwide in which half, 50.5 percent, of all roadway fatalities involved alcohol.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define binge drinking as four or more drinks in a single sitting for women and five or more for men. Heavy drinking is at least eight drinks per week for women and 15 for men.

The state Health Department did not confirm the conclusions in the 24/7 Wall St. report, The Maui News reported .

Maui County had 22.5 percent of adults as heavy or binge drinkers, followed by Hawaii County, 21.7 percent.

Maui County is second in heavy drinking at 9.8 percent of adults with Kauai County topping the list at 10.1 percent. Hawaii County is at 9.2 percent and Honolulu County at 6.7 percent.

“By community, based on data, we see no evidence of the Kahului metro area having substantially higher rates of binge or heavy drinking than other communities in the state,” state Health Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo said. In fact, the community with the highest rates of binge or heavy drinking is Molokai, she said, adding that “Kahului does not stand out in any meaningful way.”

The Health Department data show that people with less education are more likely to binge or drink heavily, she said. There is “practically no difference” based on income.


Information from: The Maui News, http://www.mauinews.com