Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of the year. For some it’s just the unnecessary holiday between Halloween and Christmas or New Years, but we beg to differ. In fact, we love having our family and friends gather over delicious meals and never-ending wine. However, fun and festive holidays such as Thanksgiving can quickly turn into living nightmares for some because of one bad decision. The day before Thanksgiving, also known as Blackout Wednesday, is terrifying — here’s why.
For most, Thanksgiving is a national holiday. Because of this, most people are off on this day — unless you work in retail of course. 91% of Americans drive to their destinations on Thanksgiving, which is significantly higher than most days of the year. Because Thanksgiving is a day off for most, which means that many people choose to go out on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving Thursday. Of course this results in partying, heavy binge drinking and inevitably, drunk driving — turning Thanksgiving into the deadliest holiday of the year.
As you can imagine, heavy drinking and higher-than-usual traffic due to the holiday don’t mix well. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on average just over 500 deaths occur due to drunk driving on Blackout Wednesday. That’s 5 times the daily average. The most likely age group to be involved in drunk driving related accidents are 20 to 24 year olds. Naturally, you must be wondering what you can do to keep your friends and family safe. Read on to find out.
What Can I Do to Stop a Friend or Family Member from Drunk Driving?
Be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to your loved ones. If a loved one is intoxicated and wants to drive home, you can do the following to curb their decision:
- Volunteer to be a loved one’s designated driver.
- A reminder that one’s own parents, siblings or friends could be on the road with drunk drivers is a great deterrent. Driving while intoxicated doesn’t just jeopardize the drunk driver’s life, but the lives of every man, woman and child on the road.
- Tell your friend under the influence that it is okay to take an Uber or Lyft home. Even offer to pay for their cab or Uber/Lyft. To go the extra mile, offer to drive them back to their vehicle the next morning.
- Let your drunk friend sleep over.
- Remind your drunk friend that a DUI would mean they would have a hard time getting a job and that the court process can be extremely pricey. DUIs tend to stay on your record for 10 years or more, and they also increase your insurance rates for years to come. Get help from others. Having multiple friends insist on taking a safer way home will make it more difficult for your drunk friend to say no.
- Talk to your friend when they’re sober. There may be more to it than just wanting to get drunk. Talk to your friend and ask tough questions if necessary to determine if they need professional help.
- If you are confident your friend could end up in a car accident or worse, dead, it is your responsibility to stop them any way possible. Take their keys, offer alternatives, and if nothing else works, unfortunately calling the police may be the safest option for your friend. Your friend will hopefully be understanding enough to recognize you did it for their own well-being and the innocent people on the highway, who could have been hurt.
We know you may feel that you are stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to stopping friends from driving while intoxicated, but we promise their life is worth it. We hope these tips help keep you and your family safe.
Talk to a Car Accident Attorney if You Suffered Injuries from Someone Else’s Driving Under the Influence
In this day and age it seems almost unavoidable that someone we know has driven drunk or has suffered injuries at the hands of another driver’s driving under the influence. Remember to avoid driving habits such as drunk driving that get you into car wrecks while you are out on the road.
Parrish Law Firm helps victims of drunk driving accidents recover compensation for their injuries. To schedule a no-cost consultation and claim review, call (571) 229 – 1800.