Impaired Driving: A Deadly Danger at Thanksgiving

16 Nov 2018

Press Releases, Latest News

Impaired Driving: A Deadly Danger at Thanksgiving
#BoycottBlackoutWednesday and #DitchDanksgiving Blitz
to Prevent Alcohol- and Drug-Impaired Driving

Lafayette, LA— The Acadiana Regional Transportation Safety Coalition (ARTSC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have joined forces this Thanksgiving holiday to remind drivers that whether under the influence of illegal drugs, prescription drugs, or alcohol, any form of impaired driving is deadly dangerous — and illegal.

Their message is clear: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. Drive Sober During Thanksgiving.

“Too often, while celebrating with family and friends over Thanksgiving weekend, impaired drivers get behind the wheel,” warned Ashley Moran, ARTSC Representative. “But whether impaired by alcohol, marijuana, or anything else, it can be deadly to drive under the influence. No one should ever take that risk.”

Drunk-driving-related crashes spike during the Thanksgiving holiday season. According to NHTSA, from 2013 to 2017, more than 800 people died in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday period (6 p.m. Wednesday to 5:59 a.m. Monday), making it the deadliest holiday on our roadways.

In fact, during 2017, more than one out of every three traffic fatalities during the Thanksgiving Holiday period involved an alcohol-impaired driver.

In the Acadiana region, 48 alcohol-related crashes, including six fatal alcohol-related crashes, occurred on Acadiana’s roadways during the 2015-2017 Thanksgiving Holiday period.

Also, a new threat is emerging: drug-impaired driving. From 2007 to 2016, marijuana usage doubled among drivers killed in crashes, and in 2016, 42 percent of the drivers killed in fatal crashes who were tested, tested positive for drugs.

Excessive alcohol and drug intoxication are also prevalent over Thanksgiving due in part to cultural phenomenons like “Blackout Wednesday” and “Danksgiving” that highlight and even encourage the heavy consumption of alcohol and marijuana throughout the holiday weekend.

That is why this Thanksgiving holiday, NHTSA and its partners are doing even more to save lives on the road. A nationwide social media blitz—featuring hashtags #BoycottBlackoutWednesday and #DitchDanksgiving—will help deliver some new lifesaving messages into the public conversation and encourage positive actions that can help reduce danger on the roadways.

Impaired driving in any form is illegal in all 50 states. Whether a person is feeling a little high, buzzed, or stoned, wasted, or drunk, he or she is impaired and should never get behind the wheel.

ARTSC recommends these simple tips to stay safe on the road while celebrating this Thanksgiving:

  • Plan a way to safely get home before the Thanksgiving festivities begin.
  • Always designate a sober driver.
  • If you are impaired, take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
  • Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, which helps you identify a sober ride home and your location for pickup.
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement.
  • If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them make safe, sober travel arrangements to where they are going.

By working together, we can save lives and help keep America’s roadways safe. Please join us in sharing the life-saving message “Drive Sober During Thanksgiving,” and using the hashtags #BoycottBlackoutWednesday and #DitchDanksgiving this holiday weekend.

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