North East residents are the booziest in Victoria with Towong Shire claiming the dubious title.
Despite having one of the lowest populations, the North East shire has topped the list in the state with 27.6 per cent drinking at risky levels.
This statistic shows residents are four times more likely to drink alcohol than those in City of Greater Dandenong which came in healthy last place for the state.
The latest data, which described risky levels as more than two standard drinks per day, by the Mitchell Institute also has Alpine Shire a close second with 24.9 per cent.
Neighbouring local government area Indigo Shire wasn't much better with 22.9 per cent while Wangaratta sits at 21.1 per cent.
Mitchell Institute professor Rosemary Calder said people who drink to excess are at much higher risk of alcohol-related illness including heart disease, stroke, liver disease, some cancers, depression, anxiety and dementia.
The Alcohol Report also shows lower socio-economic city communities and those with high migrant populations were more likely to have lower rates of risky drinking.
Nationally the average risky drinking rate is trending downward.
IN OTHER NEWS:
But despite Australians being on track to reach the 2025 target of 16.1 per cent, North East areas are a long way off.
Wodonga's drinking habits are slightly better at 16.7 per cent, while across the Border, Albury is sitting at 19.8 per cent.
Greater Hume Shire was around the same mark at 19.6 per cent.
"This suggests that a culture of drinking plays the biggest factor in risky drinking rates and alcohol prices are also influencing drinking patterns," professor Calder said.
She said government programs that promoted safe drinking and healthcare supports should be targeted into the communities that needed it most.
"We need to focus on getting effective information and supports for reducing alcohol consumption into regional communities," she said.
Snowy Monaro Regional Council was the second biggest drinker in NSW with 28 per cent.
Nationally, Byron Shire Council on the northern NSW coast topped the list with 31.6 per cent.
This week the National Health and Medical Research Council released new draft alcohol guidelines recommending no more than 10 standard drinks per week and no more than four drinks in one day.
The Australian Health Policy Collaboration, led by the Mitchell Institute, wants to increase the alcohol tax by 10 per cent and add wine, cider and other fruit-based alcohol to the list.