The evening before Thanksgiving, known infamously as Blackout Wednesday, is one of the most dangerous driving days of the year. Between 2016 and 2020, 138 drivers involved in fatal crashes on Blackout Wednesday evening (6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m.) were impaired by alcohol.
If you plan to travel the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, it is crucial to plan how to protect yourself and your loved ones from an accident or injury caused by a drunk driver. Read on to learn some tips to protect your safety this Thanksgiving holiday and how the Baton Rouge drunk driving crash injury lawyers at Dudley DeBosier can help in the case of an accident or injury.
The night before the Thanksgiving holiday is often referred to as Blackout Wednesday or Drinksgiving due to the high rates of heavy drinking and “blacking out” that typically occur.
There are several reasons drinking rates skyrocket during Thanksgiving week, including more college kids at home reuniting with friends, most adults off work, and the celebratory atmosphere.
The high number of intoxicated drivers on the road during this time greatly increases the risk of accidents and crashes, particularly for younger and less experienced drivers. Between 2016 and 2020, young people ages 21-24 accounted for 44% of alcohol-impaired drivers involved in fatal crashes on Blackout Wednesday.
Abstaining from driving on Blackout Wednesday is the only way to ensure protection from a drunk driving accident. Even if you don’t drink yourself, you can still be hit by someone else who was.
However, staying at home all night is not always realistic. The key to protecting yourself is careful planning.
Follow these tips to protect yourself and your family from a drunk driving accident this Blackout Wednesday.
You can help protect yourself and others on Blackout Wednesday by drinking in moderation. A driver’s level of intoxication is usually determined by looking at their Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC).
In Louisiana, any driver with a BAC above .08% is legally considered intoxicated and may receive a DUI, DWI, or other penalties.
Moderation looks different for everyone. Males and those with higher body weights can typically consume more drinks than women and those with lower weights to reach the same BAC. For example, a 220 lb. man who consumes three standard drinks will generally have the same BAC (.05%) as a 100 lb. woman who consumes one standard drink. Drinking water between every alcoholic beverage and spacing out drinks over a longer period of time can help reduce how quickly alcohol takes effect.
Even though a .05% BAC is technically below Louisiana’s legal BAC intoxication limit, this intoxication level can still significantly affect your driving skills. As soon as you begin to feel tipsy, you are already too impaired to safely drive.
There are plenty of ways to celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday without putting yourself and your loved ones at risk on the road. Select a designated driver who can commit to sobriety for the evening, such as a friend or family member, to drive you home from an event.
Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft can also help ensure your safe transportation, though you may want to check that ride-shares are available at the time and location you need them. These services prioritize urban areas, but many service more suburban regions, particularly on holidays. Taxis and car services may also be available depending on your location.
Intoxicated drivers display a range of dangerous behaviors, like swerving and weaving, quickly changing speeds, tailgating, erratic braking, drifting out of their lane, and striking curbs, objects, and other vehicles.
If you encounter an intoxicated driver on the road, you have a couple of options:
- Call 911. Pull off the road to safety and report the driver, making sure not to handle your cell phone while driving. Report your location, the vehicle’s direction, and a vehicle description.
- Get their attention. If you see another driver in distress, you can get their attention by using your car horn or pulling up safely beside them. You may discover that the driver is fully sober but inattentive, and your intervention may protect others on the road. If the driver is non-responsive, pull over and call 911.
If you or a loved one suffers injuries in a drunk driving crash, seek legal representation. A personal injury lawyer can help you get your life back to normal after injury or damage to your vehicle or property.
You can schedule a free case review to learn your options if you’re unsure where to start. The Baton Rouge drunk driving crash injury lawyers of Dudley DeBosier offer a no obligation, free consultation to help you understand your rights and possible next steps.
The attorneys from Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers help people in Louisiana get their lives and finances back to normal after accidents and injuries that weren’t their fault. If an intoxicated or otherwise negligent driver has injured you, we will work with you to help you through the legal process and get the money you deserve.
This content has been reviewed by Chad Lederman, Director of Legal Operations at our New Orleans office.
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