The day before Thanksgiving kicks off an especially dangerous period on the roadways that lasts through New Year’s, according officials in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Public safety agencies call the day before Thanksgiving “Blackout Wednesday,” “Drinksgiving” or “Whiskey Wednesday” because of the heavy drinking that takes place.
To account for the heightened risks of impaired drivers on the roads, Montgomery County police will activate their “Holiday Task Force” this week. That task force involves stepped-up road patrols and more sobriety checkpoints.
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said the county’s police force arrested 284 impaired drivers during the 2021 Holiday Task Force.
“The Wednesday before Thanksgiving—Thanksgiving Eve—is an especially high-risk night for impaired driving,” Elrich said in a statement. “If you choose to drink, plan out a safe ride home beforehand. Nationally, nearly 12,000 people lost their lives to drunk driving last year. That is one person killed in a drunk-driving crash every 45 minutes.”
The county’s alcohol distribution arm is also getting involved. The Montgomery County Alcohol Beverage Services is giving out coasters to bars and restaurants that feature a QR code which pulls up a list of ways to get home safely when drinking. That list is also available on the county’s website.