Eau Claire’s drinking ranked second in the nation’s “drunkest cities”


Chad Hoyord, Deputy Chief of Patrol Division, was compelled to find ways to reduce the risks of Eau Claire’s excessive drinking culture. © 2018 Kinsey Johnson

By Kinsey Johnson

It was a chilly night in January of 2017 when 19-year-old Robert Tarver woke up on a stretcher headed inside an Eau Claire hospital.

“I just remember being so terribly cold because of the ice water… because I was basically dying of alcohol poisoning,” Tarver recalls.

Earlier this year a recent study named Eau Claire, Wisconsin America’s “Second Drunkest City.” According to the study, Tarver is among 26.2% of adults who drink to excess with sometimes dangerous results. Some of the consequences that can result from excessive drinking include alcohol poisoning, short and long-term health risks and alcohol-related vehicle accidents. Because of these consequences, members of the Eau Claire community are taking steps to change the city’s drinking culture with a new city ordinance.