Before Black Friday Comes Blackout Wednesday

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving used to be a time to double-check on Thursday’s plans, make the pies, maybe take a last minute trip to the store for a forgotten essential. While those things still happen, Thanksgiving Eve now has the dubious honor of being referred to by bartenders and laws enforcement alike as “Blackout Wednesday” and “Drinksgiving.” Chiefly due to college students returning home for the first time since the semester started, that night now features bars advertising drink specials, clubs waiving cover charges, and alcohol-fueled revelry so decadent that some rankings have placed it above New Year’s Eve for drunk driving fatalities. This see-and-be-seen scene of excessive drinking has frightening consequences. The proportion of people killed in drunk driving crashes over the Thanksgiving holiday rose by 30 percent in 2010 compared to the rest of the year, and the number of drunk driving deaths increased by 24 percent compared to 2009. With social binge drinking (consuming a high volume of alcohol in a short period of time) also common at this time of year, it is no surprise that DUI arrests are at their highest between Thanksgiving and the end of New Year’s weekend. For example, Pennsylvania’s troopers made 412 DUI arrests over the 2010 Thanksgiving weekend – far more than the 197 DUI arrests made over the Christmas weekend and 267 arrests over New Year’s.

Thanksgiving Eve serves as the unofficial start of the drinking and driving season that lasts until New Year’s Day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this five-week span will see more than 700 people injured or killed each day in drunk driving accidents. This rate is two to three times higher than the rest of the year.
Anyone who consumes alcohol and drives increases their risk of being in a car accident. Though it may be uncomfortable to discuss, consider having a conversation with your child about the adverse effects of binge drinking, alcohol abuse, and driving while drunk — and let them know you care even though they are now often hundreds of miles away. If you plan to drink during periods when driving dangers are elevated, be aware that law enforcement is on alert for intoxicated drivers. Everyone at the Johnson Law Firm wishes our community and Kentuckians everywhere a safe and happy Thanksgiving. We urge you to take extra precautions while on the road this holiday season because even though you may not be drinking, you don’t know who out there has had too many. While we hope that the celebration passes without incident, we are here if you need us. If you have any questions about this topic, or have been hurt by a drunk driver, you can find out more by discussing it with the Pikeville, KY-based Johnson Law Firm. Contact us by calling 606-437-4488 or filling out our online form.

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