WASHINGTON, D.C. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is reminding everyone to plan ahead for a non-drinking driver to get them safely to their destination this Thanksgiving weekend and throughout the holiday season.

“A record number of Americans plan to take to the roads tomorrow,” said MADD National President Helen Witty, whose 16-year-old daughter Helen Marie was killed by an alcohol- and marijuana-impaired driver. “The increase in holiday travelers combined with a surge in alcohol sales and people reconnecting with friends the night before Thanksgiving could also make it one of the deadliest.”

From 2013 to 2017, more than 800 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes from 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Eve to 5:59 a.m. Monday morning, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Tomorrow is especially dangerous. Called “Blackout Wednesday,” “Drinksgiving” and “Whiskey Wednesday,” these monikers have come to describe a cultural phenomenon in which heavy drinking is highlighted and even encouraged. As a result, drunk driving-related crashes increase.

“Every single drunk driving death is preventable. Every single drunk driving death forever leaves an empty seat at the table,” Witty said. “Thanksgiving is a time for tradition and family gatherings. Please, don’t let it turn into a time of tragedy.”

MADD encourages everyone to spread the word this Wednesday by using the hashtag #BoycottBlackoutWednesday.

Drunk driving crashes increase dramatically every holiday season as more people travel and celebrate. More than 1,000 people died in drunk driving crashes from 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Eve through New Year’s Eve 2018; 133 were killed in these crashes over the long Thanksgiving Weekend.

Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are so dangerous that almost half of all traffic deaths on those days are caused by drunk driving.

In addition to planning ahead for a safe and sober ride home, MADD encourages party hosts to reward non-drinking, designated drivers with festive, non-alcoholic drinks and good food. Thank our law enforcement heroes and support them in any way you can. Show your support for MADD’s long-running Tie One On For Safety campaign and remind everyone that drinking and driving never mix by displaying our iconic red ribbons on your vehicle throughout the holiday. Use our holiday hashtags, #tieoneonforsafety and #designateddriver and #NoMoreVictims.

To join MADD’s Tie One On For Safety red ribbon campaign and for Safe Party Tips, visit MADD.org/toofs.

“We want everyone to have a fun, festive holiday season,” Witty said. “We also want everyone to make it home.”

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save more than 390,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.

Contact: Becky Iannotta, 202.600.2032 or becky.iannotta@madd.org