Press release by La Porte County Sheriff’s Office:

Thanksgiving is a time for families to gather.  However, with more people on the roadways, there is greater potential for crashes.  That is why the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) is joining agencies from across the state to make sure everyone gets to their destination safely.

“This holiday season, we expect to see a lot of traffic on the roads.  Please make smart decisions by not mixing drinking and driving,” said Devon McDonald, Executive Director of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.  “Be proactive and plan for a sober driver.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), impaired driving and fatal crashes spike during the Thanksgiving holiday.  In 2021, 190 people throughout the nation died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in the holiday travel period ranging from the day before Thanksgiving to the Monday following Thanksgiving.

NHTSA data shows there are more motor vehicle traffic crash fatalities during holiday periods due to increased travel time, more alcohol usage, and excessive driving speed.

The issue is made worse by Thanksgiving Eve, also known as “Drinksgiving” or “Blackout Wednesday.”  On that day, there is an increase in overconsumption of alcohol.

From November 2017 to November 2021, 137 drivers nationwide were involved in fatal alcohol-impaired crashes on the night before Thanksgiving.  In 2021 alone, 36 drivers in fatal crashes were alcohol impaired.

The LCSO reminds people that impaired driving is a matter of life and death.  Deputies will be on high alert for impaired drivers.  Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead to get home safely by designating a sober driver, by using public transportation or by utilizing a ride service like Uber or Lyft.  Never drive impaired or let friends get behind the wheel if they’ve been drinking.