Authorities urge everyone to drive sober during Thanksgiving holiday

Posted: Updated:
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Traffic safety officials say the day before Thanksgiving is one of the year's biggest drinking days, making the holiday one the deadliest times of the year on America's roads. 

"Whether it's young people home from college or adults who know they have the next day off from work, Thanksgiving Eve has contributed to a rise in drunk driving deaths around the holiday," said Officer Charley Davidson with the Wichita Police Department.

The U.S. Department of Transportation and WPD remind everyone to “Make It to the Table: Don’t Drink and Drive this Thanksgiving Eve.”

Wichita Police Department motorcycle unit will target drunk drivers

From 2012 to 2016, over 800 people died in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday period, which is from 6 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Monday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says. 

Wichita police ask that anyone traveling take precautions to make it to their destination safely.

"Call a friend, have a designated driver, call and Uber," Officer Davidson said. "But please do not--if you partake in any adult beverage or alcoholic beverage--get behind the wheel of a car, for your safety and the safety of others."

Wichita police are participating in a grant-funded special traffic enforcement this week. It will focus on drivers who are under the influence as well as seat belt enforcement.

NHTSA advises that if you see a drunk driver on the road, you should contact local law enforcement. 

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