News: Binge

Air Date: 02/18/2011

The generally accepted definition of binge drinking in the United States is the consumption of five or more alcoholic drinks in a row by men — or four or more drinks in a row by women.

When young adults binge drink, it often results in fights, unwanted sex and automobile accidents.

More than ever before, young adults are consuming alcoholic beverages, with the intention of becoming drunk.

A 2010 Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services survey reports that two-thirds of 19 to 25-year-olds in the state report drinking alcohol and two out of three of those who drank alcohol in the month prior to the survey admitted to binge drinking. The rate between males and female binge drinkers was nearly identical, and binge drinking rates are higher in urban areas as compared to rural Nebraska. Additionally, more than 60 percent of 21 and 22 year old full-time college students reported binge drinking. In college towns, binge drinking at large parties and complaints about loud noise, littering and public urination keep law enforcement officers busy.

You’d just be amazed at what crosses my desk on Monday morning after a weekend of binge drinking in Lincoln, Nebraska
- Lincoln Police Chief Tom Casady

Binge includes University of Nebraska-Lincoln officials discussing their progress toward curbing binge drinking during the past 10 years after the campus was identified as having a rate higher than the national average. The program also includes interviews with bar owners and law enforcement officers about cooperative efforts to policing the downtown bar scene in Lincoln. The program also travels to Kearney to learn more about “Oksoberfest,” a seasonal alcohol-free activity for University of Nebraska at Kearney students. The event includes a simulation exercise to show students the physical impairment caused by drinking too much alcohol.

NET News returned to a roadside memorial near Auburn, Neb., that marks the spot where 15-year-old Austin Glather died in a drunk driving accident. All four teenagers in the car had been drinking. During the next few years, the group learned the pain of losing a friend wasn’t enough to change the binge drinking behaviors they had developed.

If anything I drank more... and I think a lot of the kids on that roadside drank more after the accident
- Nick Snyder of Auburn

Nick Snyder himself was injured in another drunk driving accident when he ran his truck off the road and into a stand of trees at more than 90 miles-per-hour. He was thrown halfway through the windshield and then ejected out the back window. Snyder was so drunk at the time that he doesn’t remember being the driver of the truck.