It’s known as the biggest drinking day of the year, Blackout Wednesday. Some people refer to it as “Thanksgiving Eve” or “Drinksgiving.” It’s the day that many Portland-area residents clock out of work early and kick off the holiday season.
Blackout Wednesday is a chance for old-time friends to go out to bars and pubs before spending the holiday with family. Of course, it usually involves heavy drinking that can spill over onto Portland roadways. Research concludes that on Blackout Wednesday, beer sales spike by 270 percent and liquor sales by 114 percent.
According to statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 800 people were killed on U.S. roads during the Thanksgiving period from 2012-2016. The Thanksgiving period runs from 6 p.m. Wednesday to 5:59 a.m. Monday.
The danger still persists after Thanksgiving Day
So the Thanksgiving period has passed. If you think the elevated drunk driving risk is behind us, think again. Throughout the entire month of December, people still tend to drink more than usual. In fact, drinking is often an integral part of many family gatherings, holiday work parties, and other holiday celebrations.
According to Alcohol.org, it’s quite common for adults to drink during the holiday season. For some, it adds social value to holiday get-togethers. For others, it’s a mechanism to cope with the holiday stress of shopping, planning, preparing, and traveling.
When drinking becomes a threat to other drivers on the road
Holiday drinking, however, becomes a threat to public safety when someone feels confident enough to get behind the wheel. No matter how sharp someone’s driving skills may be when they’re sober, it’s nearly impossible to maintain control behind the wheel while impaired by alcohol.
It doesn’t take much alcohol consumption to experience some level of impairment. According to an article in verywellmind, impairment can start at a BAC level as low as 0.02 percent. While it’s perfectly legal to operate a motor vehicle, drivers may experience some relaxation and minor loss of judgment. When combined with distracted driving, drowsiness, or recklessness, a BAC level of 0.02 percent can contribute to the likelihood of a serious crash.
At a BAC level of 0.05 percent, a driver’s impairment may become more profound. This includes:
- Loss of small muscle control
- Impaired ability to focus eye quickly
- Impaired judgment
- Decline in alertness and attentiveness
Currently, the BAC limit in Oregon is 0.08 percent. At this level, drivers can be pulled over and arrested. While police will be out in full force looking for drunk drivers, many of them will, unfortunately, go unnoticed. Some may make it home safely, but others will cause someone’s injury or death on the road. The risk isn’t worth taking.
If you or a loved one is hurt in a crash this holiday season, it’s important that you take legal action. The attorneys at Zbinden & Curtis see the devastation drunk driving causes. A fun and joyful holiday celebration can quickly turn into a catastrophe.
That’s why we’re dedicated to helping crash victims and their families in the pursuit of justice. We’ll fight to hold negligent drivers accountable and work tirelessly to maximize your compensation. To schedule your free case evaluation with our legal team, contact us online.