"Drinksgiving" sees more impairment-related crashes than any other day of the year

Published: Nov. 27, 2019 at 12:06 PM CST
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From 2013 to 2017, Kansas highways saw 185 alcohol-related crashes resulting in 105 injuries and seven deaths.

"There's absolutely zero reason to get behind the wheel if you are impaired,” David Studebaker, highway maintenance superintendent for the Kansas Highway Patrol in Topeka, said. “There's no excuse for that."

With Kansans hitting the highways for Thanksgiving, the Topeka Police Department urges you to be smart.

"This year it's on slight to be one of the record years for travelers on the road,” Lt. Andrew Beightel said. "Drinking does happen around the holidays. That's one of the biggest concerns that law enforcement and public safety have."

Many know the frenzied day of shopping after Thanksgiving as Black Friday — but AAA Kansas calls the night before turkey day Black-Out Wednesday, citing heavy alcohol consumption that comes with being home for the holiday.

The Kansas Department of Transportation says it brings more impairment-related crashes than any other day of the year.

"Do not drink and drive if you feel that you're impaired, or you know that somebody is impaired and they're attempting to drive, try to stop them and don't let them behind the wheel,” Beightel said.

TPD and KHP will have more officers on the streets over the Thanksgiving weekend.

They say to have a plan so you make it home safely from celebrations with friends and family.

"There are several other different ways to get to your destination without you having to drive impaired,” Beightel said. “If you have family or friends, call them. Uber or Lyft, or any of those ride share-type things, or even a taxi."

On average in Kansas, three people are injured every day and one person is killed every four days in drug and alcohol-related crashes.