Worst DUI Time of Year Begins with Pre-Thanksgiving Binge Drinking
The night before Thanksgiving has been dubbed “Blackout Wednesday” by officials, as a long evening of binge drinking marks the start of the worst period for DUI and reckless driving, which lasts until New Year’s Day.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 728 people will be injured or killed each day between Thanksgiving and New Years, because of DUI-related accidents – a rate that is two to three times higher than the rest of the year.
During the Thanksgiving holiday alone last year, 25 people died in the Carolinas in DUI accidents. According to the SC Highway Patrol, 10 people died during the holiday on South Carolina roads. In North Carolina, 15 people died and 391 were injured in DUI accidents.
Data from the Alcohol Monitoring Systems marks the trend as “Blackout Wednesday,” a night of binge drinking before food and shopping binges during the rest of the holiday season. Many people report that, when they go drinking right before Thanksgiving, they strive to get black-out drunk.
Part of the problem is that college students are back in their hometowns on holiday, and look to meet up with old friends. Most don’t have to work on Thursday, and don’t have to get up for family celebrations until later that day.
Some bars in urban areas report that they see more business on Wednesday before Thanksgiving than on St. Patrick’s Day or New Year’s Day.
The data compiled by the Alcohol Monitoring Systems covers 315,000 DUI offenders that they have monitored since 2003.
South Carolina Police Step Up DUI Patrols
In response to the high rate of DUI accidents and fatalities over the holidays, South Carolina patrols step up their activity along the state’s highways and roads.
The patrols begin on Friday, November 21st, and will last until January 2nd, 2014.
The first checkpoint on Friday, along Highway 501 in Myrtle Beach, was conducted between 8 PM and 11 PM. During that time, according to Myrtle Beach Police Master Corporal Shannon Toole, 10 people were arrested, one of whom was a fugitive.
More than 800 cars passed through the checkpoint.
Traffic deaths have already risen higher than 2012 – 92 people have died on South Carolina’s roads so far – so this holiday season, it is especially important for law enforcement to watch for DUI and reckless drivers.
“Research clearly shows that public safety checkpoints when they’re done in a very visible manner absolutely saves lives. They’re one of the most effective strategies for preventing DUI crashes and fatalities,” Mothers Against Drunk Driving Program and Fund Developer Steven Burritt said.
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If you face DUI charges, whether it is your first charge or felony DUI, you could feel alone and afraid. Just because you have received DUI charges does not automatically mean that you are guilty. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm have helped people who face DUI charges since 1996. We offer free, confidential consultations so you can discuss the facts of your case with impunity. Contact us for help today. 803.252.4800