‘Blackout Wednesday,’ DOT is reminding people to drive sober during the holidays
The Connecticut Department of Transportation says nearly 40% of all roadway fatalities are caused by an alcohol-impaired driver.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says in 2021, nearly 200 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes during the Thanksgiving period.
The state says these fatalities are preventable, and reminding the public to drive sober this Thanksgiving week.
Josh Morgan, the communications manager for the Connecticut DOT, says people should plan transportation before heading out the door.
He shared the following tips:
Designate a sober driver.
Download rideshare apps to your phone.
Be aware of other transportation options around you: like where the bus is or the train station.
"Be a good friend, plan for a sober ride home, if you see someone about to get into the car and you know they shouldn't take their keys away from them, call them a ride, get them home safely. They may be mad at you at the moment, but when they wake up alive the next day, they will thank you," said Morgan.
Nicole Wichowski, the Connecticut Youth Program manager for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), says MADD's new holiday campaign, To Get There, is designed to help cut drunk driving-related deaths by 20% by 2026.
"One of the ways that we're trying to make it a visible campaign out in the community is working with law enforcement. We have these red ribbons that we give out to law enforcement to put on their cruisers," said Whichowski.
In a statement, the state DOT commissioner says in part, "Driving impaired is deadly and illegal, and no one should ever take that risk."
The DOT says it's pausing all non-emergency construction projects from Wednesday morning to Monday morning to keep more lanes open with the increase in travelers.