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Jana Tidwell
Public Relations Manager, PA
O: (302) 299-4426
C: (302) 353-6563

Kathleen Zinszer
Sr. Public Aff. Specialist, CT/DE/NJ/PA
O: (302) 299-4168
C: (610) 291-7312

Thanksgiving Eve is a Big Night of Overindulgence.
It’s Not the Food, It’s the Booze

“Drinksgiving” a Big Party Night for Students, Others, Home for the Holiday

PHILADELPHIA, PA (November 20, 2018) –– As everyone knows, the day after Thanksgiving Day is called “Black Friday.” It is the busiest retail shopping day of the year. Few people realize, however, that the day before Thanksgiving Day is dubbed “Blackout Wednesday” or “Drinksgiving” in some circles 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 Thanksgiving Day is a time to share meals with our loved ones, the eve of Thanksgiving is one of the most dangerous times for overindulgence in alcohol – not food,” says Jana Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “While we disapprove of and fear drunk drivers on the road, a survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed that far too many drivers aren’t practicing what they preach. There is a big disconnect in our actions and words.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between 2013 and 2017, more than 800 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday period, making it one of the deadliest holidays on our roads. Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) data shows that in 2017 there were 4,509 crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday period in Pennsylvania and 26 fatalities.

The Pennsylvania State Police and hundreds of municipal police departments statewide will participate in the “Operation Safe Holiday” campaign this year to increase traffic safety enforcement beginning this week and continuing through the New Year’s holiday.

“It is never OK to get behind the wheel of a vehicle when you are buzzed or drunk,” said Tidwell.  “The risk of injury or death for yourself, passengers and others on the roads is not worth it, especially when there are other ways to get home safely. AAA Mid-Atlantic wants everyone to safely enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with their friends and family and not have to deal with a tragedy caused by impaired driving.”

AAA reminds anyone planning to indulge in alcoholic beverages Wednesday night or anytime during the holiday season:

  • 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 have had too much alcohol to drink
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact law enforcement

AAA works year-round to educate the public on the dangers of impaired driving in an effort to reduce traffic-related crashes and injuries.


Follow us on Twitter: @AAAPhillyNews

Mailing Address:
7777 Brewster Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19159

AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 57 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Pennsylvania.  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

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