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Many people think that the worst day for alcohol consumption and binge drinking is New Year’s Eve. However, it is actually Blackout Wednesday, also known as Drunksgiving or Drinksgiving, the biggest drinking day of the year.

What is Blackout Wednesday? Biggest Drinking Day of the Year

Blackout Wednesday is the day before Thanksgiving when many people visit family or take advantage of the extra-long weekend to leave town.

On this day, college students make plans to attend parties and reconnect with old friends.

However, this is a particularly dangerous time for young people, as the parties encourage underage drinking. Many consume so much alcohol that they blackout (lose consciousness). Meanwhile, others drink and then get behind the wheel.

According to MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is one of the most dangerous travel days of the year:

“In 2018 alone, 133 people died in alcohol-related crashes from Wednesday at 6 p.m. to Monday morning at 5:59 a.m.”

And, for four of the past five years, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has counted more alcohol-related fatal accidents on Thanksgiving eve than New Year’s Eve. To avoid binge-drinking and prevent impaired driving on Blackout Wednesday, check out the NHTSA’s resources.

Certainly, bars and restaurants have taken advantage of the pre-holiday festivities by offering drink specials and Happy Hour events.

However, the safest way to avoid problems is to forgo alcohol-fueled parties. Staying home may actually be the best option. However, if you do want to party, there are a few things you can do to stay safe.

How to Avoid Drunk Driving and Binge Drinking on Blackout Wednesday

Again, the safest thing to do is to avoid drinking altogether. But, if you plan to consume alcohol, here are a few ways you can avoid drinking and driving on Blackout Wednesday.

  1. Find a designated driver. Among a group of friends, there’s always someone who doesn’t like the taste of beer, is alcohol-intolerant, or is willing to stay completely sober. Make sure it’s somebody you can trust. If your group is large, you may need more than one designated driver.
  2. Prearrange for a cab or rideshare. If you leave your car at home and have a cab meet you at the door when you leave, so you won’t be tempted to drive. Alternatively, you can also use public transportation. Make sure you have a bus or metro pass to get home safely.
  3. Drink at home or a friend’s home, instead. Avoid going to your local bar, where the drink specials may tempt you. This way you can limit the quantity you consume. Make sure you and your friends participate in fun activities that don’t include alcohol. Watch a movie, play board games, or enjoy pre-Thanksgiving TV specials together.
  4. Don’t be afraid to take away a friend’s keys if they aren’t in a condition to drive home.
  5. If you’re the one hosting a party, make sure that you have plenty of non-alcoholic beverages on hand. Offer both diet and regular soda, so no one is left with just the choice of alcohol or water. If you want to get fancy, dish up some mocktails everyone can enjoy.
  6. If you’re hosting and have the room, pull out some sleeping bags. Friends who have consumed too much alcohol should be encouraged to stay the night. Tell them to drive home in the morning. You can also arrange to have the party designated an “adult sleepover.”
  7. If you know you have a problem, avoid alcohol and places where it’s served. Consider getting together with friends to have a dry party, where you enjoy premium soda, fancy mocktails, and good food.

Here’s the bottom line: you shouldn’t drive with any alcohol in your system. Even levels well below the legal limit can impair your judgment enough to lead to accidents on the road. Either drink or drive, never both. Binge drinking (five or more drinks) is also bad for your health.

Here’s what the NHTSA has to say about Blackout Wednesday:

“In recent years, Thanksgiving Eve has kicked off the long holiday weekend with a notorious “mini-holiday” known as “Blackout Wednesday.” The trend highlights — and even encourages — the heavy consumption of alcohol. We need to remind drivers that, nationally, it is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol — no exceptions. Driving impaired is deadly and selfish. With various safe ways to get home safely, drunk- or drug-impaired driving should never be an option.”

Make sure that you don’t become a statistic. Make arrangements to get home safely, limit your alcohol consumption, and/or choose alternative activities.

At Draeger Interlock, we’re committed to making roads safer by providing affordable and reliable ignition interlock devices. Don’t drink and drive. We want everyone to have a safe and joyous holiday. To learn more about safe driving, check out our blog.

And, for information on how ignition interlock devices can get you back on the road safely, contact Draeger Interlock today.

 

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