Somewhere between the turkey, pumpkin pie, and quality time spent with family and friends, an unspoken danger lurks that threatens the lives of everyone on the road.

The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the most dangerous times of the year to drive. More than 55 million Americans are expected to take a Thanksgiving road trip this year and not all of them are sober. The reality is drinking and driving has become such a problem during this time of the year, that one-third of all fatalities during the 2016 Thanksgiving holiday period involved drunk drivers according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

It shouldn’t be a surprise to see an increase in the number of people driving under the influence of alcohol. Bars report sales increases of 270% on beer and 114% on hard liquor on Thanksgiving Eve. While there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with people going out for a good time, there is a problem in how they are getting home.

The holidays are something we can all plan for. If you are going to be drinking, plan a safe ride home with a friend or family member, download a ridesharing app like Lyft or Uber, or use a good old fashioned taxi. If you can’t plan a safe ride home, consider not drinking.

Partnership Douglas County sponsored the “Don’t Drink and Drive” program in Carson Valley which gave over 130 free rides home to people that may have had too much to drink. The program was put on hold by the Nevada Transportation Authority on October 14, 2019, but we are working to bring the program back and fill an important need in Douglas County.