Fri Nov 28 06:56:58 PST 2014
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Drunk Driving Crashes Spike Over Thanksgiving Weekend
colleen quigley

November 26, 2014 On the night before Thanksgiving, friends and family reunite, celebrate, and kick off the holiday. However, it's also become know as "Blackout Wednesday," the start to a dangerous weekend, with more drunk drivers out on the road. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) the number of people killed in drunk driving crashes over Thanksgiving weekend is up in recent years. In fact, the holiday has even over taken New Years for the highest number alcohol-impaired driving deaths. "People usually plan for a sober driver for New Years and holidays like that, but sometimes they don't take that into account when they are out shopping and have a couple drinks with lunch, or have a couple drinks with dinner before they go home," said Sgt. Stoddard with the Albemarle County Police Department. Sgt. Stoddard says the department has ramped up patrols this holiday weekend looking for drunk and impaired drivers. He encourages party-goers to plan ahead before heading out. "It's best to call a cab or have a family member pick them up," said Sgt. Stoddar. "It's better than being in a crash, or being arrested for intoxicated driving." The manager of MADD Virginia, Chris Konschak, says it's also important to have a sober driver, not just a designated one. "The person who thinks they are the least drunk ends up being the driver, and often they are well above a .08. Too often we hear about crashes where the occupants of the vehicle were killed and it was the designated driver driving," said Konschak. At popular restaurant Boylan Heights, manger Michael Walker says he's excited for the Wednesday night crowd, but will be lookout for patrons who've had one to many to make sure they get home safe. Walker says one perk of being home for the holidays, mom and dad are a phone a call away. "Parents come pick people up, nice and responsible. It's better to have your kids come home be safe a responsible," said Walker.

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