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AAA Warns of Driving Dangers on ‘Drinksgiving’ aka Blackout Wednesday
Thanksgiving Eve Is Big Party Night for Students, Others, Home for the Holiday
(It’s not just alcohol – pot too)
HARTFORD, CT (Nov. 21, 2018) – The day of frenzied shopping that follows Thanksgiving is commonly referred to as Black Friday. But, in recent years, some have started referring to the night before Thanksgiving as ‘Blackout Wednesday’ or ‘Drinksgiving’ because of the heavy alcohol consumption or binge drinking done by college students and others, home for the holiday and reuniting with friends and family at bars, restaurants or homes.
“While ‘Blackout Wednesday’ or ‘Drinksgiving’ may be clever ‘buzz’ words, there’s nothing clever about being buzzed or drunk and getting behind the wheel,” says Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in Greater Hartford. “And it’s not just alcohol that’s impairing drivers; marijuana is a problem as well”.
In a previous AAA poll of Connecticut drivers, almost 25% of younger drivers admitted to ‘regularly’ or ‘fairly often’ getting behind the wheel within an hour of using marijuana -- compared to just 16% of younger drivers who said they drove drunk during the same time period.
Record Number of New Englanders on the Road for the Holiday
This year, AAA projects that 48.5 million Americans will travel by car to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends. That projection includes more than 2 million New Englanders, many of whom will be leaving late Wednesday afternoon and early Wednesday evening.
What’s at Risk?
From 2013 to 2017, more than 800 people died nationwide in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday period (6:00 p.m. Wednesday to 5:59 a.m. Monday), making it the deadliest holiday on our roads, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
AAA is reminding anyone headed out Wednesday night or throughout the Thanksgiving holiday weekend...
- Buzzed driving is drunk driving. Don’t risk it.
- Make a plan ahead of time to have a sober, designated driver.
- If you don’t have a designated driver, call a friend or family member, taxi or car share service such as Uber or Lyft to get you home safely.
- Never let family or friends drive if they are impaired.
- If you see a drunk or impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement.
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than one million members in Connecticut. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.aaa.com.