2022 Thanksgiving – A Dangerous Weekend for Impaired DrivingShare November 22, 2022 | Category: Blog, DUI
Experts agree that impaired driving incidents never take a hiatus, but there are times that may bring out more than the usual number of impaired drivers. Thanksgiving weekend is one of those times with a 56 percent higher than average risk of encountering impaired drivers on our roads. The number of DUIs takes a steep climb on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Thanksgiving weekend in 2021 was a particularly disturbing time. For example, here is one DUI accident that occurred in Collier County:
- A 31-year-old woman slammed into the back of an FHP patrol car parked in the outside westbound lane of Immokalee Road around 2:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. The trooper and a deputy jumped the guardrail to avoid being hit by the speeding car. The driver was found asleep at the wheel. Troopers conducted a field sobriety test and placed her under arrest for DUI.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported in 2021 that over Thanksgiving weekend from 2015 to 2019, nearly 800 people tragically died in crashes that involved an impaired driver. During that same time, 135 drivers involved in fatal crashes on Thanksgiving Eve were intoxicated. These statistics are why the day before Thanksgiving has been associated with binge drinking and is commonly known as “Drinksgiving” or “Blackout Wednesday.”
Thanksgiving weekend is the precursor of the holidays. The NHTSA defines it as from 6:00 p.m. on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving until 5:59 a.m. the following Monday when there are more cars on the roads than at any other time of the year.
The NHTSA wants everyone to remember that buzzed driving is very prevalent over Thanksgiving partially due to the cultural phenomena of “Blackout Wednesday” that “…highlights and encourages the heavy consumption of alcohol and drugs throughout this holiday weekend. Impaired-driving-related crashes spike during the Thanksgiving holiday season.”
The national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Alex Otte said, “Summer around July 4th is really high as well, but this holiday period (Thanksgiving through New Year’s) is always concerning for us.”
MADD suggests the following safety tips to have a safe Thanksgiving weekend:
- Plan a safe ride home – Use rideshares, or public transportation or designate a sober driver. Think about your best option before you head out to celebrate.
- Report drunk drivers – If you see a drunk driver on the road, report it to local law enforcement. You could save lives.
- Hosting a party? – A great host is always prepared.
- Offer plenty of food to keep your guests from drinking on an empty stomach.
- Serve Mocktails, non-alcoholic beverages, as a fun and festive alternative for designated drivers and others.
- Follow the laws and do not offer alcohol to guests under 21.
- As guests leave, confirm their plan for a safe ride either via a designated driver or a share ride like UBER.
- Avoid over-drinking and over-serving guests. Plan for one drink per hour per guest and buy alcohol accordingly.
- Click-it – Always wear your seat belt. Even if you’re doing everything right, you could still be involved in a crash. Wearing your seat belt will increase your chance of survival.
"We at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving weekend and encourage everyone to plan before leaving home. We are available 24/7 to assist you in your time of need in the event that you are tragically injured by a drunk or buzzed driver. Please contact us at 239.337.7483, toll-free at 1.888.477.4839, or online at SpiveyLaw.com. There are no costs or attorney fees until we receive a monetary recovery for you,” said Fort Myers DUI Accident Lawyer Randall Spivey.