Law enforcement cracking down on impaired drivers on 'Drinksgiving'

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Before the turkey is served, students, families, and friends get together to drink and catch up the night before Thanksgiving. 

The unofficial holiday is known as 'Drinksgiving' or 'Blackout Wednesday'. 

Wichita Police Sergeant Jess Hancock said it can be a dangerous night to be on the roads. 

"Statistically, there are more impaired-driver related accidents that occur on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving than on any other day in the year in the state of Kansas," said Hancock.

From 2013-2017, police responded to 185 accidents involving impaired drivers around Thanksgiving. 105 people were injured and seven were killed. 

"It's a preventable thing that a lot of times law enforcement arrives after the event," said Hancock. 

Law enforcement agencies are kicking off a statewide enforcement, 'Operation Thanksgiving Arrive Safely', funded by grant through Kansas Department of Transportation. 

It will run through Sunday, December 1. 

The operation includes concentrated enforcement and saturating patrols focusing on seat belt enforcement and impaired drivers. 

"We encourage people to slow down, drive safe, put their phones down, don't be texting and driving, make sure you wear your seat belt, and before that vehicle rolls make sure that everybody in the car is safely restrained," said Hancock, "Our goal is to get families to their destinations safely so they can spend Thanksgiving."

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