Thanksgiving is a time of joy and reflection of family and really good food but did you know about “drinksgiving” aka Black Out Wednesday? It’s been a growing popular trend among college students and millennials on Thanksgiving Eve, or “Blackout Wednesday,” highlights — and even encourages — the heavy consumption of alcohol throughout the long holiday weekend. Most people are home for the holidays, have no work or school and celebrate by drinking until they black out. Not only is this detrimental to the human body but also to our roadways as millions of people are traveling over the holiday weekend.
According to NHTSA, from 2013 to 2017, more than 800 people died in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday period (6 p.m. Wednesday to 5:59 a.m. Monday), making it one of the deadliest holidays on our roadways. Even one drink can be one too many.
Bars see a hike in sales, some even reporting it’s one of their biggest sales day, yes, even more than New Year’s Eve. On social media it’s hashtag and promoted with images of drinking turkeys and a slew of advertisements of drink specials.
“Every single one of these drunk driving deaths was preventable. Every single one left an empty seat at the table and turned a time for families and tradition into a time of tragedy,” said MADD National President Helen Witty, whose 16-year-old daughter Helen Marie was killed by a drunk and drugged teen driver. “There is simply no excuse. There never has been. But we now have more options than ever for getting home safely – whether designating a non-drinking driver, using public transportation or calling a taxi or rideshare service like Uber.”
Plan Before You Party
Don’t let plans get away from you — it’s imperative to your safety and the safety of others to plan for a sober ride home from the party. Don’t leave your house without a plan on how to get home safely — once you start drinking you likely won’t make good choices. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for a safe night out.
Remember that it is never okay to drive impaired. Whether you’ve had one alcoholic beverage, an impairing substance, or
- Both, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride sharing service to get home safely.
- If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact your local law enforcement.
- Have a friend who is about to drive while alcohol or drug impaired? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely
MADD encourages everyone to spread the word on Nov. 27 by using the hashtag #BoycottBlackoutWednesday. You can also show your support for MADD’s Tie One on For Safety campaign and remind everyone that drinking and driving don’t mix by displaying our iconic red ribbons on your vehicle throughout the holiday.
Find out how to contact your local MADD office for a red ribbon or download a virtual one at https://www.madd.org/the-solution/drunk-driving/tie-one-on-for-safety/.