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 binge drinking done by college students and others, home for the holiday and reuniting with friends at bars.
“While ‘Blackout Wednesday’ or ‘Drinksgiving’ may be clever ‘buzz’ words, there’s nothing clever about getting buzzed and getting behind the wheel”, says Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in Greater Hartford. “And with marijuana as a growing drug of choice among younger drivers, there’s now that concern as well”.
A AAA poll of drivers across Connecticut found that almost 25% of younger drivers (ages 18-29) admitted to regularly or fairly often driving within an hour of using marijuana – a much higher number than those who admitted to drinking and driving during the same time frame.
Also, AAA says, impairment is not just an issue for those behind the wheel. With a growing number of pedestrian deaths, AAA is reminding drivers and pedestrians to take every precaution to look out for one another as they come and go from Thanksgiving holiday festivities.
According to UConn Crash Data, there were 5 traffic fatalities in Connecticut last year over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend - two of them in West Hartford.
West Hartford police say they will be doing their part to ensure everyone’s safety.
“West Hartford police will be deploying extra patrols, not only looking for those who may have had too much to drink but anyone who could be putting themselves or others at risk,” says Capt. Jeffrey Rose.
AAA is reminding anyone headed out Wednesday night and planning to drink to also plan for a designated driver or use of a car share service such as Uber or Lyft.
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