Study Finds People With Tattoos Get Drunker Than People Without Any; What Do Local Tattoo Artists Think?

Categories: Crime
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This guy better be king of Edward Fortyhands.
Academics do a lot of weird studies to get published. The most recent example involves a professor named Nicolas Guéguen hanging around some bars in France to figure out if people with tattoos and piercings are more inclined to get shitfaced than people without tattoos or piercings.  

How does one go about getting to the bottom of such a head-scratcher? By asking nearly 3,000 people at bars if they have tattoos and/or piercings and then administering a Breathalyzer to see how drunk they are.

The study, coming out in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, found that "pierced and/or tattooed individuals had consumed more alcohol in bars on a Saturday night than patrons in the same bars who were non pierced and non tattooed."

The news release announcing the study included an academic warning that people should be careful not to stereotype tattooed and pierced folks as brawling boozehounds. But it also included Guéguen explaining that "a host of previous studies" have demonstrated that those with tattoos are more likely to engage in risky behaviors, including fighting, theft, and unprotected sex. 

So what do local tattoo artists make of this study? We called around and got a few choice opinions. 


Allan Buhl 
Tattoo Artist
Vatican Tattoo Studio in Fort Lauderdale 

I think it's retarded. The first thing I'd like to know is if they went into a hooligan bar or a bar that's known to be a place that's got a scene or something. You also have to realize that the French are drunks; they like their wine, you know? They should do one of these polls in America. I don't know what to say. [The study] definitely spreads dirt and stereotypes; it doesn't really do any good. That's like saying someone with long hair is more prone to being a surfer. It's retarded. I spent my Saturday night watching Finding Nemo on my couch with my three dogs. Tell [Guéguen] I'm so surprised that he has a degree and that he's a professor. It's just crazy. They should find something to study that would actually do good for the people and not spread stereotypes. 


Aaron Legore 
Tattoo Artist 
Hellcat Tattoo in West Palm Beach

I'd be interested to see what their methods were; that's always my first question when it comes to correlation and statistics. You can prove anything if you get the right sample group. But overall, I'm not that surprised. Generally, people with more tattoos, as a group, engage in more high-risk behavior. I could see that there's a correlation, but tattoos aren't actually the cause. Whoever is reading those statistics would have to be discerning and not jump to conclusions. These days, there are so many people that are heavily tattooed. What I think would be interesting is to see what types of tattoos people had who get into fights at the bar and stuff like that. A study like that would probably need to be done by someone in the industry for a few years and who's familiar with the industry.

Gilbert Machado 
Tattoo Artist, Piercer and Owner
Black Rose Tattoo in Deerfield Beach 

[a very long and loud laugh] I can drink like a fish! I can drink a whole bottle of Jack and walk around perfectly straight. You want to do a study on me? I think I can go for it. I think [the study] is playing up stereotypes. Maybe we drink more. It doesn't mean we get drunker because we have tattoos. There's no benefit to knowing that information, but they might know something that we don't know. [long sinister laugh] I think we're being singled out. [another long and loud laugh]

Dave Porter
Tattoo Artist and Owner
Hellcat Tattoo in West Palm Beach

I think it really depends on what bar they hung out at. I doubt that there's a big correlation between tattooing and drinking. They did a study years ago that said people with tattoos had a higher incidence of HIV and hepatitis because people with tattoos were more likely to be involved in higher-risk situations. What they failed to mention is that all the people were actually IV drug users. These people like to skew things so it makes it seem like tattoos have to do with this stuff when it really doesn't. We tattoo lawyers and judges and doctors. What a frivolous waste of money to do something like this. I could take the same statistics and bend them to whatever I want. I think it's amusing as hell. It's laughable, really.

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