Ten Percent of American Adults Have More Than Ten Drinks a Day

Enjoying a glass of wine or two with dinner? Your drinking habits pale in comparison to the ten percent of American adults (24 million of them over age 18) that consume over ten drinks a day. The Washington Post breaks it down: "That works out to a little more than four-and-a-half 750 ml bottles of Jack Daniels, 18 bottles of wine, or three 24-can cases of beer. In one week."

These figures come from a book titled "Paying The Tab" by Phillip J. Cook. One of the staggering thoughts is how much alcohol sales are impacted by the top decile of adult drinkers. Cook explains:

"One consequence is that the heaviest drinkers are of greatly disproportionate importance to the sales and profitability of the alcoholic-beverage industry. If the top decile somehow could be induced to curb their consumption level to that of the next lower group (the ninth decile), then total ethanol sales would fall by 60 percent."

That ninth decile consumes a little over 15 drinks a week. What would the alcohol industry have to say about losing those sales?