DUI is a criminal offence, SUI merely results in criminally bad purchases, but few people who shop while drunk regret their buys, according to a new survey which has estimated the value of this market at $48bn a year in the US.

The Hustle, a daily email, polled 2,174 alcohol-consuming readers earlier this month in what does not purport to be a scientific study – given its non-representative sample and the fact that the average respondent had an income more than double the national average – but which does raise potentially interesting questions around online shopping.

It found that 79% of [Hustle-reading] alcohol consumers had made at least one drunk purchase and that the average annual spend of each of these consumers amounted to $444; if the same proportion of all 138 million people in the US who consume alcohol drunk-shop at the same level, that’s a $48.4bn market.

Women, the report said, are slightly more likely than men (80% v 78%) to drunk shop, and millennials more likely to do so than baby boomers (82% v 69%).

Amazon was the platform of choice for such activity, preferred by a whopping 85% of respondents; 21% headed for eBay, while Etsy (12%), Target (9%) and Walmart (5%) also featured.

Clothes and shoes were most often what they had in mind – two thirds shopped for these items – while almost half picked up movies, games or tech.

While there were some ludicrous purchases – there are, one imagines, limited uses for a life-size cut-out of Kim Jong-un – the fact that only 20% of people returned drunk buys and a mere 6% felt repentant suggests that most people may be buying things they actually want, simply throwing sober caution to the winds.

Late-night flash sales can encourage such drunk shopping behaviour; the head of one online retailer has a different term for it: “Post-bar, inhibitions can be impacted, and that can cause … healthy impulse buying.”

Sourced from The Hustle, the Telegraph; additional content by WARC staff