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Thanksgiving driving: Avoid a DUI by skipping Blackout Wednesday

Aptly named for the high number of people who drink more than they should on the day, Blackout Wednesday is the day before Thanksgiving. It's a day when people know they'll be off work the following day, so they let go of their inhibitions and drink more alcohol than they should. It's most commonly young people who participate in this day, which is particularly dangerous since they may be the people traveling home from college or driving to see friends or family.

Blackout Wednesday, the night before Thanksgiving, is the first reason the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is one of the most dangerous weekends all year for drivers. Combined with drinking the following day and over the course of the weekend while staying with friends and family, it's no wonder that drunk driving is more common during this time.

What can you do to prevent the risk of a DUI?

The most important thing you can do if you plan to drink is to monitor your intake. Eat food with the alcohol, since that slows its absorption into the bloodstream. If you plan to drive, give your body several hours from the time of your last drink before you get behind the wheel. Even better, carry a portable breathalyzer so you know you're legal before you get behind the wheel.

For your friends and family, you can be a strong support by guaranteeing they don't leave the home while intoxicated. If they need to get home and you're sober, offer to drive them. It's better to go out of your way, or to make sure they wait until they're sober to leave, than to find out someone you love has caused a serious accident or been injured as a result of drinking.

With a little bit of foresight, you can stay safe during the Thanksgiving holiday. Be cautious of your alcohol intake, and avoid a DUI this year.

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