Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Stepping up Patrols During Peak Thanksgiving Travel

Officers will be on high alert thru the end of the month

                                      JEFFERSON COUNTY SHERIFF BEN FLINT

Madison, IN 11-14-23 — Thanksgiving is a time for families to gather. However, with more people on the roadways, there is greater potential for crashes. That is why the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is joining law enforcement agencies from across the state to make sure everyone gets to their destination safely. 

 "This holiday season, we expect to see a lot of traffic on the roads. Please make smart decisions by not mixing drinking and driving,” said Devon McDonald, Executive Director of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. “Be proactive and plan for a sober driver."

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), impaired driving and fatal crashes spike during the Thanksgiving holiday. In 2021, 190 people throughout the nation died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in the holiday travel period ranging from the day before thanksgiving to the Monday following Thanksgiving. 

 NHTSA data shows there are more motor vehicle traffic crash fatalities during holiday periods due to increased travel time, more alcohol usage, and excessive driving speed. 

 The issue is made worse by Thanksgiving Eve, also known as “Drinksgiving” or “Blackout Wednesday.” On that day, there is an increase in overconsumption of alcohol.  

 From November 2017 to November 2021, 137 drivers nationwide were involved in fatal alcohol-impaired crashes on the night before Thanksgiving. In 2021 alone, 36 drivers in fatal crashes were alcohol impaired. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office reminds people that impaired driving is a matter of life and death. 

 “The idea of Blackout Wednesday is really a shame,” said Sheriff Benjamin Flint. “We understand that people want to have a good time, but memories should last a lifetime, not be over before they start. We want everyone to make it to the Thanksgiving table.” 

 Officers will be on the roads on high alert for impaired drivers. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead to get home safely by designating a sober driver or by using public transportation or a ride service. Never drive impaired or let friends get behind the wheel if they’ve been drinking. 

 By working together, we can save lives and make sure there are no empty places at the Thanksgiving table this year.  

 For more information on impaired driving, please visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving.   

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