Oktoberfest Sees Increase In Hospitalized Drinkers, Sexual Abuse

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Despite lower overall attendance, Oktoberfest saw a record increase in binge drinking medical attention. (Photo credit should read CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/GettyImages)

Despite lower overall attendance, Oktoberfest saw a record increase in binge drinking medical attention. (Photo credit should read CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/GettyImages)

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Munich, Germany (CBS WASHINGTON) – Despite far fewer in overall attendance, the number of Oktoberfest guests who drank to the point of requiring medical attention was up by 20 percent.

During the first week of Oktoberfest alone, about 445 partiers, most of them under the age of 30, considerably underestimated their alcohol tolerance – and the beer’s potency. The number of festival guests who drank themselves into a stupor was up by 20 percent, according to the Bavarian Red Cross.

Some 500,000 fewer people visited this year’s Oktoberfest than in 2011, but the Red Cross had to deal with more than 800 incapacitated binge-drinkers. More than 2,500 people required medical treatment during the first week of Oktoberfest – over 11 percent more than in 2011.

“With the temperature fluctuations that occurred, more Wiesn guests had to cope with heart and circulation problems,” said Hans Finkel, head of first-aid at the festival.

Police were also stretched “to and also beyond our limit,” a police spokesman said Sunday, with officers called out about 2,000 times during the two-week event. Some 1,400 crimes were recorded – including thefts and assaults.

Overall, 6.9 million litres of beer were chugged at this year’s event – but at slightly over 6.4 million, the number of visitors was down by about 500,000.

According to Germany’s “The Local” English news, the number of sexual abuse crimes was also up slightly, and police said Sunday they were investigating four possible rape cases.

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