This Thanksgiving holiday, the Texas Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are teaming up with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Watch UR BAC program to make sure you make it to the Thanksgiving table. With the Thanksgiving holiday kicking off a very merry time of year, it’s essential to take some time to remember that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. If your plans to celebrate include alcohol, plan for a sober driver. You may have heard of the popular trend during the Thanksgiving holiday, “Blackout Wednesday,” which occurs on the eve of Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, this trend encourages the heavy consumption of alcohol, which is why we’re working hard to keep drunk drivers off the roads.
This Thanksgiving Eve, NHTSA and its partners are conducting a social media blitz to remind drivers that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. NHTSA’s goal is to deliver lifesaving messages into the public conversation and to encourage positive actions that can help reduce impaired driving on the roadways. Remember: Nationally, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher, except in Utah, where the BAC limit is .05. If you are under the influence of any impairing substance, hand the keys to a sober friend instead of driving yourself home.
“We know friends and families will be especially excited to gather around the Thanksgiving table this year,” said Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Family and Community Health Agent Clarissa Moon, Panola County. “Unfortunately, drunk driving is a real threat to our community, and that threat increases during holidays like Thanksgiving. We want our drivers to take Blackout Wednesday seriously. This is a dangerous trend. Driving under the influence is deadly and illegal, and no one should ever take that risk.”
Drunk-driving-related crashes spike during the Thanksgiving holiday season. According to NHTSA, from 2015 to 2019, 135 drivers involved in fatal crashes on Thanksgiving Eve (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) were alcohol-impaired, and over the entire holiday period (6 p.m. the Wednesday before Thanksgiving through 5:59 a.m. the Monday after Thanksgiving), nearly 800 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes. In fact, during the 2019 Thanksgiving holiday period, more than four times as many drivers involved in fatal crashes were alcohol-impaired during nighttime hours than during the day.
The bottom line is this: If you know you’re headed out for a night of drinking, make sure you plan for a sober ride home. It is never safe to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while drunk or otherwise impaired. Remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.
Celebrate with a Plan
If you’re planning to head out to the bar or to parties during the Thanksgiving holiday, make sure you plan for a sober ride home. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for a safe night out.
Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely.
If available, use your community’s sober ride
If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911 as drunk driving IS an emergency.
Do you have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.
By working together, we can save lives and help keep America’s roadways safe. Please join us in sharing the lifesaving message Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving during the holiday weekend.