If your Thanksgiving holiday plans include enjoying an alcoholic beverage with your turkey and mashed potatoes, make sure you plan for a sober driver to get you home safely. This Thanksgiving holiday, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is teaming up with the Eufaula Police Department, Checotah Police Department, and the Mc-Intosh County Sheriff ’s Office to make sure you make it to — and from — the Thanksgiving table. With the Thanksgiving holiday kicking off a very merry time of year, drivers are urged to remember that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.
Unfortunately, drunk-driving-related crashes spike during the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend. According to NHTSA, 190 people died in alcohol- impaired driving crashes during the 2021 Thanksgiving period (6 p.m. Wednesday, November 24 through 5:59 a.m. Monday, November 29). From 20172021, 832 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes during the entire Thanksgiving holiday period (6 p.m. the Wednesday before Thanksgiving through 5:59 a.m. the Monday after Thanksgiving). During this same period in 2021, males were more likely than females to be alcohol-impaired and involved in a fatal crash, with males accounting for more than three-quarters of alcohol-impaired drivers.
“This is a special time of year for so many, and we want to see our community act responsibly so that we can make happy memories all weekend long,” said Eufaula Police Chief David Bryning. “Unfortunately, drunk driving is a real threat to our neighborhoods, and that threat increases during holidays like Thanksgiving. Driving drunk is deadly and illegal, and no one should ever take that risk.”
NHTSA data shows that 13,384 fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes involved alcohol-impaired drivers in 2021. This represented 31% of all traffic fatalities in the United States for the year, and a 14.2% increase from 2020. As holiday parties increase during this festive season, do not contribute to these senseless deaths by driving drunk. On average, more than 11,000 people were killed each year from 2017 to 2021 in drunk-driving crashes, and one person was killed in a drunk-driving crash.