Watch CBS News

The Worst Weekends For Heavy Teen Drinking In Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Excessive teen drinking spikes around the city's major music festivals, with Lollapalooza being by far the heaviest, according to a study by Lurie Children's Hospital.

Lurie examined data from Chicago area emergency rooms for 2014 and found that 102 teens were treated for alcohol poisoning during Lollapalooza, which returns to Grant Park this weekend.

That number is more than double the next-highest weekend, the Spring Awakening Concert, held in June.

Each of the teens tested in Lurie Children's ER alone over Lolla weekend had blood alcohol levels above the adult limit for driving (.08).

Some even had a level of .32 – 0.4 and higher, which is considered toxic and potentially deadly.

"We're surprised, by the overwhelming contribution of Lollapalooza to the alcohol abuse problem among teenagers of the city," said Dr. Robert Tanz.

Nurse practitioner Tara Seider says many of the kids come in unconscious, vomiting and incoherent.

"It always shocks me because they are so young and so little," she said.

Lolla organizers say it's conduct they don't condone.

"We are very diligent to make sure that anybody having a beverage is carded," said Brooke Leal of C3 Presents.

After music festivals, big holiday weekends, most notably the weekend around St. Patrick's Day, were also big drivers of teen drinking.

The Top 5

Lollapalooza, Aug. 1-3, 102 cases
Spring Awakening, June 13-15, 45 cases
St. Patrick's Day Weekend, Mar. 14-16, 21 cases
Skrillex Navy Pier Concert, Oct. 17-19, 20 cases
(tie) Labor Day Weekend, Aug. 29-31, 17 cases
Pitchfork, July 18-20, 17 cases

Chicago's emergency rooms typically see fewer the 10 cases on an average weekend.

The Thanksgiving holiday weekend was among the lowest for alcohol cases (3) all year.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.