Thanksgiving eve could lead to more drunk driving crashes

AAA says more crashes are likely to occur with more people travelling for the holiday weekend.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The day before Thanksgiving isn’t just known as a busy travel day, but also as “Blackout Wednesday” or “Drinksgiving” because a lot of people are ready to celebrate and catch up with family and friends over a drink. According to AAA, this means the potential for more drunk drivers and accidents.

“We always see an increase in collisions during the holiday weekends, especially Thanksgiving,” says Trooper Matt Sudduth with Kentucky State Police (KSP). “Last year, the Thanksgiving weekend, we had more collisions in Kentucky than any other holiday.”

AAA says nationwide, between 2015 and 2019, nearly 800 people died in drunk driving crashes. Of that 800, AAA says 135 drunk drivers died in crashes on Thanksgiving Eve.

“Between the day before Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, we really see a devastating number of these incidents,” says Alex Otte, national president for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

AAA reminds everyone that buzzed driving is considered drunk driving and only time can sober you up, not coffee or cold showers. MADD says your ride should be planned out before you head to a party, whether it be with a designated driver, on public transportation or through a rideshare.

“The cost of [a rideshare] is nothing compared to the cost of making this choice and the consequences of [driving drunk] for you and other people,” says Otte. “60 seconds can change your life forever and you can’t take it back.”

KSP says there’s one big way to defend yourself against drunk drivers.

“The best defense against an impaired driver is to wear your seat belt, so that’s why we’re participating in a national campaign over the holiday weekend called ‘Click it or Ticket’, where we are focusing on seat belts and distracted driving,” says Trooper Sudduth.

AAA says if you see another driver and don’t think they’re sober, call the police. Drive safe, drive sober and have a happy Thanksgiving weekend.

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