Officials warn to drink responsibly during holiday weekend
SARASOTA - Thanksgiving Eve, otherwise known as Blackout Wednesday is considered on the biggest bar nights and deadliest nights of the year.
“No one leaves their house and says, I’m going to get a DUI tonight, no one leaves their house or the bar and says you know what, I’m going to kill somebody tonight after I’ve been drinking," said Regional Executive Director for Mother's Against Drunk Driving, Larry Coggins.
Popular among young adults or college age students, Blackout Wednesday falls on the day before Thanksgiving. The day, which is associated with celebration and binge drinking, is much more dangerous than fun.
“Everybody says, I can do it, it won’t happen to me and I can tell you the thousands of victims that come to our doors each and every week across the nation seeking our services because their loved one, a spouse, a partner is dead because of an impaired driver or they’re seeking our services because they are left with lifelong injuries as result of an impaired driver," said Coggins.
MADD, otherwise known as Mothers against Drunk Driving wants everyone to plan ahead this holiday season
“Be a responsible host or hostess, make sure that nobody leaves the house after they’ve been drinking, you don’t want to be responsible for the drinking for the injuries, the deaths that can be cause by leaving your home, business or wherever the party is," said Coggins.
And if you are drinking, make sure you have a designated driver. Coggins suggests taxis and a variety of rideshare programs that are available through mobile apps.
“Take the rideshare to the bar, you can’t drive drunk, if you don’t ride there, and that’s one things we are trying to promote as well," said Coggins.
AAA is activating their tow to go program which provides transportation for an impaired driver and their vehicle to a safe location within a ten mile radius.
“This is a service that is free for anyone basically; you don’t have to be a AAA member to use it," said AAA Spokesman, Mark Jenkins.
According to AAA, more than 800 people died in crashes involving a drunk driver on the thanksgiving holiday weekend from 2016-2020.
“For those people who are in a pinch, you can call AAA and well make sure to provide a free ride for you," said Jenkins.
Tow to Go is active from 6pm Wednesday, November 23rd through 6am Monday, November 28th.
To request a safe ride, you can call (855) 2-TOW-2-GO