If your Thanksgiving Day plans include a couple of glasses of wine, some spiked egg nog or a few beers at a family member or friend’s home, make a plan to get home that doesn’t involve driving. The same is true if you’re going out after work on “Thanksgiving Eve.”
In fact, the night before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest nights of the year for bars. Many people get off work early, so they head to the local watering hole before going home. This is also a good time to catch up with friends who’ve come back into town. Some people stay late because they are postponing going home to help with the preparation for the next day. Whatever the reason, the bars and restaurants fill up on Thanksgiving Eve, and many people have more to drink than they intended.
Wednesday night only begins the Thanksgiving holiday period, which is, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “the deadliest holiday on our roads.” NHTSA reports that from 2012 through 2016, more than 800 people lost their lives in alcohol-related crashes between 6:00 p.m. the night before Thanksgiving and the following Monday morning.
Fortunately, there are plenty of options for getting a safe ride home if you’ve been drinking or would rather leave the car in the garage altogether when you go out over Thanksgiving — and many are at your fingertips. Uber and Lyft are available just about everywhere. In addition to downloading one or both of those rideshare apps to your phone, NHTSA offers a SaferRide app that identifies your location and lets you call a taxi or friend to pick you up.
You can count on Maryland law enforcement officers to be out in force over the Thanksgiving holiday period. Therefore, if you’re driving under the influence, you run a higher-than-usual risk of being pulled over and arrested.
If you find yourself in this situation, it’s essential not to try to navigate the justice system alone. In Maryland, even a first-offense DUI can have serious consequences for your life, your bank account and your future.