AAA Kansas Warns Of Driving Dangers On ‘Drinksgiving’

Thanksgiving Eve Is Big Party Night For Students, Others, Home For The Holiday

Be responsible for yourself and others

TOPEKA, Kan. – Nov. 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 heavy alcohol consumption or binge drinking done by college students and others, home for the holiday and reuniting with friends and family at bars, restaurants or homes.

“While ‘Blackout Wednesday’ or ‘Drinksgiving’ may be clever ‘buzz’ words, there’s nothing clever about being buzzed or drunk and getting behind the wheel,” said Shawn Steward, spokesman for AAA Kansas. “Drivers also need to remember that prescription, over-the-counter medications and illegal drugs can impair the ability to drive safely, as well. Also, combining any of these drugs with alcohol can increase the impairment factor more.”

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).

During that same period in Kansas (2012-2016), over the 5-day Thanksgiving holiday, there were 188 alcohol-related crashes, resulting in 109 injuries and four fatalities.

The Kansas Highway Patrol, along with local law enforcement, will be increasing patrols to foster safe roadways during the busy Thanksgiving holiday travel week, with a special eye out for impaired drivers.

AAA Kansas is reminding anyone headed out Wednesday night or throughout the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and planning to drink:

  • Buzzed driving is drunk driving. Don’t risk it.
  • Make a plan ahead of time to have a sober, designated driver.
  • If you don’t have a designated driver, call a friend or family member, taxi or car share service such as Uber or Lyft to get you home safely.
  • Never let family or friends drive if they have had too much alcohol to drink.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact law enforcement.

Also consider downloading NHTSA’s SaferRide NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app available on Google Play for Android devices and Apple’s iTunes Store. The free app allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend, and identifies the user’s location so the user can be picked up.

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communication. After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations. In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 90 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing.