Bay Staters Say 2:49pm is Acceptable for a First Drink, Finds Survey

It’s five o’clock somewhere’ is a re-interpretation of when it’s acceptable to have your first drink and could be used to shake off judgments about day drinking. But what do Bay Staters really think about daytime drinking?

  • 1-in-3 consider weekends and holidays a good excuse to drink earlier. 
  • 60% say they would not drink alone before 5pm.
  • Almost half would confront a loved on if they noticed regular day drinking.

Zinnia Health, a behavioral health treatment network, surveyed 3,000 people to answer this question. The survey results convey an interesting picture of our relationship with daytime drinking.

The average Bay Stater considers 2:49pm the green light for libations. However, this perception varies greatly depending on location. Wyoming residents are ready to toast at noon, claiming the title of the earliest drinkers in the nation, whereas North Dakotans and Montanans patiently wait until the stroke of 4:30pm.

Zinnia Health delved deeper into the factors influencing daytime drinking habits and found that special occasions and social contexts play a significant role. A festive 38% of respondents declare weekends a judgment-free zone for advancing the hour of their first alcoholic beverage. Holidays, too, offer a lenient backdrop, with over one-third (36%) finding it acceptable to sip something spirited one to two hours earlier than usual.

But it’s not just about when drinks are poured; it’s also about what’s in the glass. A significant 26% agree that lighter options like wine and beer might precede the harder stuff, with spirits saved for later. Interestingly, those who partake in earlier drinking seem to be largely unconcerned about potential judgment from others. When faced with disapproving glances, 17% of respondents said they would simply raise their glass in a toast and continue drinking, while another 22% would politely explain the “five o’clock somewhere” philosophy. A bold 16% would even invite the onlooker to join them in their revelry. 9% would choose to ignore the glares and continue drinking, and 36% might decide to set their glass aside. 

The survey also addressed the social dynamics of daytime drinking. A significant 60% of respondents admitted that they would not drink alone before 5pm. As the summer months approach, one-third of those surveyed said that the warmer weather makes them more inclined to reach for a cocktail earlier in the day. Post-exercise, the survey found that over half (55%) of gym enthusiasts would opt for mocktails over cocktails to wind down their evenings.

Perhaps most tellingly, the survey revealed that many people are not afraid to confront those who may be overindulging in daytime drinking. 44% said they would approach a friend, family member, or colleague if they noticed them regularly having their first alcoholic drink before 5pm, demonstrating a strong sense of concern and a willingness to have difficult conversations.

While the idea of daytime drinking may be romanticized by the phrase ‘It’s five o’clock somewhere,’ we have to recognize the potential dangers and consequences associated with this practice,” says Rebecca Hill of Zinnia Health. “Regularly consuming alcohol before 5 pm can be a slippery slope towards unhealthy drinking habits and alcohol dependence. The normalization of daytime drinking in social contexts may make it more challenging for those struggling with alcohol abuse to seek help, as they may feel that their behavior is socially acceptable. It is crucial for people to be mindful of their drinking habits and to seek support if they find themselves regularly reaching for a drink before 5pm.”

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