Getting drunk: Twenty cities that don’t know how to handle their liquor

California loves to get wasted! San Diego and San Jose are the top two cities that drink stupidly, according to a survey by They lead the country in alcohol-related driving violations, a dubious distinction to say the least. So, if you step into the crosswalk in these two spots, take an extra second to look both ways.

The reasons for hitting this list vary and include proximity to colleges and nightlife, and the presence of stringent enforcement may play a key role, the survey finds. If you think a lack of enforcement puts a city at the top of the list, remember that slapping the cuffs on a lot of people increases the instances of drunk driving, which actually pushes it up. explains:

San Diego most likely tops the list because its police departments are aggressive in making DUI arrests, and officers there arrest lots of drunk drivers, says Mark McCullough, a San Diego police department spokesperson specializing in DUI issues.

To pull the list of 20 drunk driving metropolitan areas together, according to Insurance Networking News, analyzed “percentage of its car insurance online quote requests for which users reported alcohol-related driving violations.”

So, who made the top 20? Take a look below:

  1. San Diego, CA
  2. San Jose, CA
  3. Charlotte, NC
  4. Phoenix, AZ
  5. Columbus, OH
  6. Indianapolis, IN
  7. Los Angeles, CA
  8. San Francisco, CA
  9. Austin, TX
  10. Jacksonville, FL
  11. San Antonio, TX
  12. Dallas, TX
  13. Houston, TX
  14. Fort Worth, TX
  15. Memphis, TN
  16. Philadelphia, PA
  17. New York, NY
  18. Baltimore, MD
  19. Chicago, IL
  20. Detroit, MI

Boston got lucky on this one. It was excluded because of a lack of data – not because the drivers there are absolutely nuts.

Disclosure: I learned how to drive in Boston.

[Via Insurance Networking News, photo by davidsonscott15 via Flickr]

Delta pilot nailed for (allegedly) drunk-flying from Amsterdam to Newark

It’s a long flight from Amsterdam to the New York City/Newark area. I’ve done it. I get antsy and bored. I bring lots of stuff to do. Anything that could make the time pass a little faster would make it onto my list … and that includes putting a few cocktails back.

Of course, I’m not the guy flying the plane.

A Delta pilot was arrested and fined for being drunk, allegedly, when getting ready to fly from Amsterdam to Newark.The (alleged) culprit hasn’t been identified yet, but the Associated Press reports that he’s 52 years old (translation: old enough to know better) and is from Woodbury, NJ.

What Delta has to say on the subject, according to ABC News, is that Flight 35 was “cancelled out of concern that a crew member appeared to be unfit for duty.”

Okay, it isn’t not true …
Here’s a little more from the airline, via ABC News:

“Local Amsterdam authorities have met with the crew member to begin their investigation and we are cooperating fully, while simultaneously launching our own internal investigation,” Delta said in a statement. “The crew member has been suspended pending the outcome of these investigations. Impacted passengers have been reaccomodated on other flights.”

Delta claims to have one of the “strictest” alcohol policies in the airline industry, telling pilots not to show up for work with any alcohol in their bodies. It sounds severe: I have a glass of wine while I’m working from time to time … but I’m only a blogger. Lives are not at stake.

The pilot blew a 0.023 percent result, which puts him a bit over the legal limit in the Netherlands. This cost him $900 in fines, but he was set free. One does hope that Delta isn’t finished with him yet.

Photo of the Day (8.1.10)

There’s nightlife, and then there’s Thailand nightlife. In addition to its rich cultural legacy, astounding culinary traditions and stunning scenery, the buzzing nightlife of places like Thailand’s islands continues to be a major draw for young (and young at heart) travelers. Flickr user myeyesareclosed does a great job of capturing the essence of a fun night out on the Thai island of Samui. I particularly love the energy of the photo – the blurs of movement and overexposed light suggest exactly the kind of gauzy dream-like state of a night powered by one-too-many cocktails. It’s all punctuated by menacing bolts of lightning in the upper left. Hedonists, beware.

Taken any great photos during your travels? Why not add them to Gadling’s group on Flickr? We might just pick one of yours as our Photo of the Day.

Crazy passenger sprays water in cabin, threatens to blow up plane with the help of Satan

It has been several weeks since we last featured an unruly passenger – but the suspect in today’s story more than makes up for that.

Stanley Sheffield was flying the Delta red-eye from Los Angeles to Tampa earlier this week when he went a little cuckoo.

According to fellow passengers, Sheffield started throwing water through the cabin, then tried to open the airplane door while threatening to blow up the plane.

Then, after yelling “I’m going to blow you guys up and I’m going to take everybody with me”, he headed for the cockpit door yelling “get behind me, Satan”.

He was then subdued by fellow passengers. One of the men who held Sheffield was Kevin Kennedy, broadcaster for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Mr. Sheffield now faces charges for interfering with a flight crew and destruction of an aircraft. Local police did say they don’t see his actions as terrorist related. According to his ex-wife, her former husband need some serious medical help. Fingers crossed he gets the help he needs – and is kept off any airplanes for the time being.

(Suspect image from Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office)

Drunk tourists trash archaeological site

The ancient Chilean town of Tulor has been trashed by a group of drunken tourists.

Tulor is an extensive town with well-preserved adobe houses of the Atacameño culture, dating from 380 BC to 1200 AD and is a popular site for tourists, with 10,000 visits a year. Yesterday Chile’s National Monuments Council said they found damage to some of the town’s ancient walls and there were beer bottles and plastic cups strewn everywhere.

Nobody has been caught, but trashing a heritage site is a serious crime in Chile, with a penalty of up to five years in jail. That’s considerably more time than the one night in jail that a group of drunken British tourists got for insulting Catholicism by dressing up as nuns and going on a binge in Crete.