Whether people are getting together with out-of-town friends, family or vacationing co-workers, individuals see the Wednesday before Thanksgiving as the start to not only an extra-long weekend, but a way to kick off the entire holiday season. Unfortunately, with so many parties on the schedule, it is easy to overindulge and run the risk of a traffic stop and being charged with DUI.
Different regions give this holiday different nicknames including “Drinksgiving” or “Blackout Wednesday” but one thing remains constant – law enforcement is increasingly aware of the potential for drunk or drugged driving on the roads. In fact, the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) highlights the potential danger by releasing frightening statistics.
According to their data, from 2015 to 2019, 135 drivers were involved in alcohol-involved fatal crashes on Blackout Wednesday. Additionally, over the same period of years, 800 people died in alcohol-related crashes over Thanksgiving weekend.
What can drivers face?
Colorado law enforcement has historically developed plans to coordinate and increase DUI patrols. This program is often referred to as “The Heat Is On,” and represents an increased awareness of impaired driving state-wide. Impaired driving can mean drunk or drugged driving. In some circumstances, a driver with strong prescription medication in their system could face legal consequences.
DUI penalties can be harsh including hefty fines, jail time and loss of driving privileges. Drivers must be aware of their own limits and make preparations to get home after a party – or when traveling from one party to the next. Ride-sharing services such as Uber or Lyft are common options. Additionally, individuals can make plans with a designated driver to avoid the severe legal consequences of a DUI.