TOWSON, MD (November 21, 2017) –– 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,” said Ragina Cooper Averella, Manager of Public and Government Affairs at AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Drivers also need to remember that prescription, over-the-counter medications and illegal drugs can impair the ability to drive safely, as well.”
From 2012 to 2016, over 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).
A 2017 poll of Maryland drivers commissioned by AAA Mid-Atlantic found that 85 percent of drivers feel that people driving after drinking alcohol is a somewhat to very serious threat to their personal safety.
Maryland State Police and Maryland Transportation Authority Police, along with local law enforcement, will be increasing patrols over the holiday week targeting impaired drivers. In fact, State Police Bel Air Barrack will be conducting a sobriety check point in Harford County the night before Thanksgiving, November 22.
AAA Mid-Atlantic is reminding anyone headed out Wednesday night and planning to drink to also plan for a designated driver or for use a car share service such as Uber or Lyft.
Drivers are advised to call 911 if they see a driver on the road that appears to be impaired.
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than 937,000 members in Maryland. 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 AAA.com.