Survey says: Americans love smuggling booze into places

Illustration for article titled Survey says: Americans love smuggling booze into places
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Like baseball and that old-timey hoop-and-stick game, sneaking booze into places is a favorite American pastime. Perhaps you learned to smuggle booze at your grandpappy’s knee just like I did.


Refined over generations, the art of sneaking in booze is a nuanced one: Do you go with a discreet hip flask for a concert, or perhaps an airplane-sized bottle tucked under your shirt? A recent survey of 1,000 Americans conducted by, a website affiliated with American Addiction Centers, found that 78 percent of people admitted to sneaking booze or drugs into events or venues, with methods and motivation varying by situation and by demographics.

Concert venues are the most popular locale for alcohol-smuggling, probably because the drinks there are often so expensive: 61 percent of survey-takers said monetary reasons motivated their smuggling. (The top reason? “Increased fun,” duh.) But Baby Boomers show a slightly disturbing trend toward sneaking booze into work; that’s the second most-popular scenario in which they’re likely to smuggle alcohol. Sure, booze is fun, but desk whiskey is kinda frowned upon these days, Mr. Draper.


Movie theaters and sporting events are universally popular smuggling destinations, with the whippersnappers of Generation Z—some of whom are still underage—also bootlegging booze into friend’s parties and school. Kids, do we need to tell you alcohol at school is a bad idea? Go back to eating Tide Pods or whatever. Another gem that caught our eyes: Eighty percent of respondents report sneaking hard liquor into a family reunion, and 67 percent report bringing marijuana to the party.

The overall takeaway is people will continue to sneak booze whenever and wherever they can, because this is America, and we’ll do what we want. Don’t tread on me, or this tiny bottle of Jim Beam I have taped to my inner thigh.

Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.


I’d bet “cruise” wasn’t higher on the list only because not everyone goes on one. When I went with my wife’s family, we got a cheap bottle of wine, carefully removed the foil on top (without crushing or ripping it), popped the synthetic cork out, drank the wine, and then refilled it with gin from a local craft distillery. Flip the cork upside down, reinsert it into the bottle, put the foil back on it, and *poof*, you have an entire bottle of booze to last you the 5 days you’re going to be on the ship.

Since you’re allowed one bottle of wine per person (at least on that cruise), it worked perfectly. *And* it allowed us to not kill my wife’s family!