You have certainly heard of Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when holiday shopping kicks into high gear. But the day before Thanksgiving also has a nickname.
That unfortunate nickname is Blackout Wednesday, also known as Drinksgiving, because it is a day when people tend to consume alcohol and drive while drunk, before heading out for Thanksgiving festivities – if they manage to get there.
Those participating in this drinking ritual tend to be college students and other young people heading home for the holiday. It is also a time for those who have arrived back home to catch up with old friends at local watering holes.
For many bars, it is the highest drink sales night of the year. Business Insider reports that in 2016, restaurants saw a 23 percent increase in sales over the prior Wednesday, while beer sales rose an astonishing 270 percent. Sales are especially up in suburban communities, since many young people are heading home to their families from their academic or urban residences.
In many urban areas, sales do not rise as significantly, as young adults leave the city.
Of course, it is not only the young who go out on Blackout Wednesday. Older adults coming into a town for Thanksgiving may also hit the local bar scene, perhaps with local relatives in tow.
It is also a time when local law enforcement officials are out in force, trying to protect the public from the additional highway dangers this drink fest presents.
Although Thanksgiving was designed as a national day for giving thanks, it has long been the deadliest holiday in terms of car accidents. More people are on the road from Wednesday to Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend than any other time of year.
From 2012 to 2016, over 800 people died over this long weekend in car crashes. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has a campaign going, in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), called “Make It to the Table: Don’t Drink and Drive this Thanksgiving Eve.” The organization also has its “Tie One On for Safety” red ribbon campaign, memorializing the 300,000 drunk driving accidents that occur every day. MADD encourages those hosting a party to hand out the red ribbons prior to the start of the festivities.
One of the best ways young people and others who go out on Blackout Wednesday avoid driving drunk is by either having a designated driver to not imbibe and take people home, or to use car services such as Lyft or Uber. An old-fashioned taxi is another good option, as is taking public transportation.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a car accident caused by a person driving under the influence, you need the services of the experienced Allegheny County personal injury lawyers at AlpernSchubert P.C. To schedule your free no-obligation consultation, call us today at 412-765-1888 or contact us online. From our offices in Pittsburgh, we serve clients in Allegheny County, Lawrence County, Washington County, and Western Pennsylvania.