By Terri Lynn, SouthFloridaReporter.com, Managing Editor, Nov. 24, 2015 – The holiday season officially starts this week, and with it comes the most dangerous time of the year for drunk driving and alcohol-related fatalities. According to a number of national organizations, these problems are expected to spike on Thanksgiving Eve, termed “Blackout Wednesday” or “Drinksgiving” in many cities.
The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is the deadliest time of the year for drunk driving, binge drinking and alcohol related fatalities.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), report that there were 3,857 alcohol-related traffic deaths during December between 2009 and 2013. On average, 728 people are injured or killed in drunk-driving crashes each day during the holiday season.
The data on high-risk holiday drinking and alcohol-related deaths and injuries are highlighted in a new infographic just released as part of Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. (AMS) annual Sober Days for the Holidays public awareness campaign.
Thanksgiving Eve Now Known as “Blackout Wednesday”
One of the most troubling trends of the season is a substantial rise in binge drinking and DUIs on Thanksgiving Eve. The day before Thanksgiving has become particularly high-risk for college students, and bars in some urban areas report seeing more business on that day than St. Patrick’s Day or New Year’s.
Sober Days for the Holidays
Law enforcement agencies throughout the country will be running roadside sobriety checkpoints, including the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign organized by NHTSA.
AMS encourages everyone to take some simple steps to celebrate safely:
Plan ahead! Don’t wait until you start drinking to figure out how you’re getting home.
Add contact information for local cab companies or car services into your phone or keep it handy. Many companies even offer special fares during some holidays, so check ahead.
Download and pre-populate your information for ride-sharing apps to make it easy to hail a ride at the end of the evening.
Identify a Designated Driver for the evening and STICK WITH IT. If plans change, have a back-up, such as one of the options above.
Established in 1997, Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. (AMS) is the world’s leading provider of alcohol testing technologies for the criminal justice industry. The company’s flagship Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (CAM) technology, launched in 2003, revolutionized the way courts, agencies and treatment providers monitor and manage alcohol-involved offenders. AMS employs 190 people worldwide and is a privately-held .