I Dis/Agree That Fresno Is The Drunkest City: Youth Views On A New Social Label

A health magazine recently identified Fresno as the drunkest city in the United States, based on death rates from alcoholic liver disease, alcohol-related car accidents, binge-drinking in the past month, DUI arrests, and DUI penalties. Youth from The kNOw had a mixed-bag opinion about whether this new label was right or wrong.

When People Get Drunk
Fresno is finally put on the map, but sadly, it’s for being known as the drunkest city in the United States! Personally I know many drinkers. Almost all of my brothers, cousins and friends drink, but I don’t. Whether it’s legal drinking or underage, they all drink to have fun and compete with one another.

This one time my brothers were drinking with the cousins at my house and things got out of hand. It all started out normal with poker and drinking, then from my room, I heard loud shouting and banging noises. I ran down the hall and found poker chips all over the floor and the table flipped to the side! My brother had gotten mad with my cousin for trying to calm him down. I hate when they drink because it messes up their bond. Although I know many people who drink, personally, I don’t think Fresno is the drunkest city.
-Angelina, 17


I think that Fresno is the drunkest city in the United States. About 80% of the people I know drink. And a few of them actually drink and drive. I know plenty of people who have had alcohol poisoning, and I have taken care of a lot of them. I know a lot of people who have passed out from drinking too much. I have seen it all, so I’m not surprised that Fresno is the drunkest city. They serve alcohol in most nightclubs and some allow you to bring them to the dance floors. Some even serve to underage people, and a lot of them get to drive home. There’s no permanent solution to this problem. We, the people, just have to realize that we need to learn to drink responsibly.
-Kevis, 19


All Cities Are Sort Of The Same
I don’t think Fresno is the drunkest city in the U.S. It’s too hard to determine a drunk city only on DUIs and checkpoints because people can be drunk at home and never get caught.

Fresno can’t be the drunkest city. No matter where I go, there is always drinking. For example, I went to North Carolina a few years ago. I visited my cousins and the first thing they did was hand me a drink. The same thing happens here. So if the same thing happens almost anywhere, every city should have the same level of being drunk, right?

Everywhere I go, as long as it’s been a hangout or something, there has always been beer or liquor. I personally don’t drink much. Maybe a beer once in a while to show my respect but I never get drunk. I always see people who are drunk, no matter where I am. Fresno, Sanger, Georgia, North Carolina. Everywhere is almost the same, so shouldn’t every city be almost the same too then?
-Yee Leng, 16


I agree that Fresno is the drunkest city because drunk drivers have caused a lot of deaths and there has been a lot of death because of alcohol, period. Another reason why I think Fresno is the drunkest city is because I see a lot of people walking around the city drunk or drinking. I remember once I was on the bus and this old guy was drunk and falling over. He kept falling asleep counting his money and everyone knew he would sooner or later drop a bill. Well, he did, and when that happened he didn’t even notice until some guy went up to him and helped him put his money away until it was time for him to get off the bus.

Another time I remember going to the liquor store down the street to get something for my mom, and this lady in the store looked at me and hugged me. She kept telling me how beautiful I was and how I reminded her of her daughter.  But she kept asking me if I wanted her to buy me anything from the store and I kept telling her no because I knew she was drunk and I didn’t want her to spend her money on someone she didn’t know. It’s sad when you think about it.
-Meme, 16


I Disagree
I don’t think Fresno is the drunkest city. There are other cities that are probably worse than Fresno, like some parts of Los Angeles. Although I have family members that drink, they haven’t been caught by the police while driving. I don’t believe Fresno is the drunkest city because you hear more about drunk driving in other cities on the news.
-Luis, 17


I Don’t Think So
Fresno got rated the drunkest city, but in my eyes, I don’t think that’s true at all. This city got rated through how many DUIs there were, drunk driving, crashes, binge drinkers, and basically people who got caught. This is obviously not true because where I come from, which is San Diego, people drink on their front porches on almost every street and the police just doesn’t pay attention. Fresno has good police officers that keep the community safe, which makes them pay attention to everything going on. Maybe we should get rated as the city with police officers who are good at doing their job instead of being the most drunken city.
-Maria, 15


Probably True
From watching TV, it is said that Fresno is the drunkest city. Based on the facts, I don’t know if that’s true. More often than not, there are accidents involving alcohol intoxication, and DUI arrests. Actually, I don’t doubt that Fresno is the country’s drunkest city.
-Jaleesa, 20


Drinking In My Family
Fresno being the drunkest city doesn’t seem very realistic to me. But now it makes me wonder about the alcohol use in my family. Drinking in my family is rare. For instance, my family only drinks when we have a little get together or if it’s New Years. But we hardly have any parties, and sometimes my mom and dad drink just cause they want to. But they don’t buy cases of beer every time we go to the store. So I don’t think Fresno is the drunkest city, or if it is, it doesn’t affect my family or most people I know.
-Miguel, 17


Bad Label
I disagree that Fresno is the drunkest city. First of all, you can’t really measure a city’s drunkenness and second, almost everyone I know has tried alcohol, but not gotten drunk. I know a lot of people who drink, but this statement is really embarrassing and it represents Fresno horribly. Fresno actually has a sign that says “It’s the best little city in America.”

It frustrates me how we are labeled as the drunkest city because there are larger cities in the United States where people drink more, like maybe Los Angeles or Las Vegas. I’m pretty sure people in those cities drink more, and they may have a better transportation system to get home if they’re drunk.
-Gabby, 17


Time To Do Something
Fresno. What’s not wrong with it? We have just about everything, from high teen pregnancy rates, to high STD rates, to high rates of drop-outs, and now the newest addition is that we are the “drunkest” city in the United States.

Honestly, I’m not surprised that Fresno is the drunkest city. There are liquor stores on almost all blocks. Liquor stores are walking distance from both schools and churches. Alcohol is everywhere.

Not only are liquor stores everywhere, but I know many people who drink. I know so many people who have gotten DUIs. I know many other people who drink and drive and don’t get caught. I believe the drinking problem is bad and is getting worse. It’s so bad, people have to send text messages warning other people about where DUI checkpoints are located.

I think it’s time, Fresno, that we actually do something. It’s time to have more designated drivers, to call a taxi, to walk, to use our cell phone to call someone to pick us up, have someone drop us off. Whatever it may be, just don’t drink and drive!
-Arena, 18


No Accurate Way
In reality, I don’t believe you can measure a city’s drunkenness. There is no way one can measure the amount of people who drunk and drive because there are many who slip under the radar and don’t get caught. Also I believe that in many cities, especially the large cities, there is a wide spread drinking taking place, but in those places, there is better public transportation such as subways, taxis, trolleys, buses, which means less DUIs. In smaller cities, there isn’t reliable transportation, which means a larger number of DUIs, which means there is no accurate way to measure drunkenness.
-Gracie, 17

The kNOw Youth Media
The kNOw works to support and equip young people with the journalism and advocacy skills they need to tell their stories and the stories of their communities.

In 2006, over 25 youth began participating in weekly after-school writing workshops where they congregated in the hallway of a two-story building in West Fresno and learned the essentials of creating media and telling their stories. The group evolved over the next five years and is now proudly recognized as The kNOw Youth Media.

Through our program, we create opportunities for our youth participants, who in turn create long-term positive change in their communities. Our approach weaves youth development and youth media innovation to produce our biannual youth publication, multimedia projects, and community forums.

The kNOw began as a project of New America Media, which was the country’s first and largest national collaboration and advocate of 2000 ethnic news organizations. In 2018 The kNOw became a project of Youth Leadership Institute.

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