Thanksgiving is the holiday when everyone gets together to have a big meal with family. Even college students come back home and relatives travel from out of state for the Thanksgiving feast.
Thanksgiving meals often include turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, and pies. For many people, the meal also includes beer, wine, or other drinks. After the meal, it is time for many to head back home. If they've had too many drinks, there may also be a risk of a drunk driving arrest.
Drunk driving accidents are more common around Thanksgiving. If you get pulled over on Thanksgiving for a DUI, contact East Bay DUI defense lawyer Lynn Gorelick.
Increase in Drunk Driving Accidents Around Thanksgiving
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend from 2017 to 2021, more than 830 people died in alcohol-related driving accidents. The increase in drunk driving accidents begins the night before Thanksgiving and continues until the Sunday after the holiday.
Drinking and Driving on the Night Before—Blackout Wednesday
The night before Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Eve, has a lot of nicknames:
- Blackout Wednesday
- Black Wednesday
The night before Thanksgiving is when a lot of people returning to their family homes meet up with friends they haven't seen in a while. College students coming home from their University can meet up with old classmates at a local bar for some drinks. Most students have a vacation for at least a few days and don't have to worry about waking up early for class.
In some cities, Blackout Wednesday is the worst drunk-driving night of the year. Police officers are well aware of what this night means and are on the lookout for impaired drivers.
Increased Saturation Patrols Over Thanksgiving
According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), California law enforcement increases saturation patrols over the holiday weekend. During a maximum enforcement period (MEP), East Bay police officers, the sheriff's departments, and CHP will have more officers looking for drunk drivers, public information campaigns, and sobriety checkpoints.
Alameda County Sobriety Checkpoints for Thanksgiving
Police officers usually announce ahead of time where there will be sobriety checkpoints in Alameda and Contra Costa County. Sobriety checkpoints are considered constitutional in California, as long as they follow certain rules.
DUI checkpoints can stop random drivers briefly to check their driver's license and insurance information. It also gives police a chance to look closer and see if the driver may have been drinking. Knowing that there are increased patrols over the holiday, it is a good idea to be prepared with a safe ride home after a night out drinking.
Were You Arrested for Drunk Driving Over the Thanksgiving Weekend in Oakland?
If you were arrested for a DUI in Oakland over the Thanksgiving weekend, there are ways for you to keep your driver's license and avoid an automatic suspension. However, you have to act fast. You only have 10 days to request a DMV hearing to keep your license. Contact your local DUI defense lawyer for help to keep your license and avoid a criminal conviction.