Montpelier, OH — This Thanksgiving holiday, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is partnering with Williams County Safe Communities of the Williams County Health District to spread the message about the dangers of impaired driving. A popular trend during the Thanksgiving holiday, “Blackout Wednesday” occurs on the eve of Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, the trend encourages the heavy consumption of alcohol, which is why we’re working hard to get drunk drivers off the roads.
This Thanksgiving Eve, on November 25, 2020, NHTSA and its partners are conducting a social media blitz featuring the hashtag #BoycottBlackoutWednesday to help deliver lifesaving messages into the public conversation and 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.
“Drunk driving is a real threat to our community. Already this year, 2 of the 3 fatal crashes in Williams County have been OVI related. That threat increases during holidays like Thanksgiving.,” said Peg Buda, Williams County Safe Communities Coordinator, “Blackout Wednesday, 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 2014 to 2018, 138 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) more than 800 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes. In fact, during the 2018 Thanksgiving holiday period, more than three times as many drivers involved in fatal crashes were alcohol-impaired during nighttime hours than during the day.
The bottom line is this: Even with the 10:00 p.m.-5:00 a.m. curfew, if you are planning on an evening out 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. Don’t leave your house without a plan on how to get home safely. 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 a ride service to get home safely.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact your local law enforcement agency.
- Always wear your seat belt, every trip, every time. Click It or Ticket.
- 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 our roadways safe. Please join us in sharing the lifesaving message Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving, and use the hashtag #BoycottBlackoutWednesday during the holiday weekend.
For more information, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving.