TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Before Americans settle in for Turkey Time and football on Thursday, many will take part in a separate, unofficial tradition on Wednesday: Drinksgiving.
This informal celebration takes place on the night before Thanksgiving and is known for family members going out to area bars and restaurants to enjoy a few cocktails.
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), Thanksgiving is the most traveled day of the year and they’ve dubbed Thanksgiving Eve ‘Blackout Wednesday.’
Reasons for the night out can vary from enjoying time together to trying to find an excuse to not talk about politics.
“More people are supposedly drinking and consuming alcohol in larger quantities,” said Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith in a previous interview. “Children coming home from college and wanting to get with their friends and party and things like that.”
DPS said they will be enforcing road safety during the holiday season. There will be an increase in the number of troopers from Wednesday through the end of the weekend.
Be sure to establish a plan before you go out on who will be the designated driver or take advantage of Ubers, if they are available in your area.
Numbers from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) show more than 170 people were killed by drunk drivers during the Thanksgiving holiday.
DPS shared the following road tips:
- Don’t drink and drive. Make alternate plans if you are consuming alcohol.
- Move Over or Slow Down for police, fire, EMS, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) vehicles and tow trucks stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated. Show the same courtesy to fellow drivers who are stopped on the side of the road. This year alone, between Jan. 1 and Nov. 12, DPS issued 11,165 warnings and citations for violations of this law.
- Buckle up everyone in the vehicle — it’s the law.
- Slow down, especially in bad weather, heavy traffic, unfamiliar areas or construction zones.
- Eliminate distractions while driving, including the use of mobile devices. Texas law prohibits the use of portable wireless devices to read, write or send an electronic message unless the vehicle is stopped.
- If you’re using a navigation device or app, have a passenger operate it, so you can keep your eyes on the road.
- Drive defensively, as holiday travel can present additional challenges.
- Don’t drive fatigued — allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
- On multi-lane roads, use the left lane for passing only. Not only is it courteous and avoids impeding traffic, Texas law requires slower traffic to keep to the right and to use the left lane for passing only (when posted).
- Don’t cut in front of large trucks, and try not to brake quickly in front of them. They can’t maneuver as easily as passenger vehicles and pickup trucks.
- If you can Steer It, Clear It: If you are involved in a non-injury crash and your vehicle can be moved, clear the traffic lanes to minimize traffic impact. Leaving vehicles in a traffic lane increases traffic congestion and leaves those involved with an increased risk of harm or a secondary wreck. On some highways, if you don’t move your vehicle when it’s safe to do so, it’s against the law.
- Check your vehicle to make sure it’s properly maintained and always ensure your cargo is secure.
- Report road hazards or anything suspicious to the nearest law enforcement agency.
- Monitor weather and road conditions wherever you are traveling. For road conditions and closures in Texas, visit Drive Texas.