Spirit of Philadelphia reports that Thanksgiving is one of the biggest drinking days of the year. There are a lot of reasons why drinking spikes on Thanksgiving. One of the big reasons is college students coming home for the first visit back after heading off to school in September. For many college students, Thanksgiving is the first chance they have to see their old high school friends after spending several months apart. Drinking is really common during this reunion celebration.
Unfortunately, drinking over Thanksgiving can have profound consequences. The issue: DUI arrests spike during Thanksgiving. People of all ages are at added risk of impaired driving arrests, and no matter your age, you need to know there is an increased chance of being arrested if you are driving while impaired.
Because there is a greater risk of being charged with drunk driving over the Thanksgiving holiday as compared with other times of the year, avoiding DUIs during Thanksgiving weekend is especially important. For those who will be celebrating, you should be sure to avoid drinking before driving. For parents of college students home for Thanksgiving weekend, it pays to talk with your kids about avoiding DUIs during Thanksgiving weekend so a trip home does not turn into a tragedy.
The Times Tribune explains the added risk of drunk driving arrests over Thanksgiving. This risk isn't just for college students but is for everyone; however, parents should emphasize the importance of staying sober on a trip home so a DUI arrest over Thanksgiving weekend does not derail the rest of the semester.
According to Times Tribune, the Lackawanna County Central Booking Office usually handles around 10 DUI arrests that occur throughout the county over the course of the week. There may be a few additional DUI arrests not processed by the Central Booking Office in Lackawanna County if state police take defendants directly to the hospital to undergo a blood-alcohol concentration test and bypass the processing center. However, this is a pretty accurate number to reflect how many people are arrested on a weekly basis.
By contrast, between 4:00 PM on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and 8:00 AM on Thanksgiving morning of Thanksgiving, there were at least 14 people arrested for drunk driving last year. The Scranton Police Chief explains this high arrest rate happens because so much drinking is going on. The Police Chief indicated: "The evening before Thanksgiving is 'one of the largest drinking nights of the year, if not the largest.'"
Police increase patrols during this high-risk time. Everyone who is out partying to celebrate Thanksgiving should be aware of more patrolling and of efforts to crack down on impaired drivers. College students home and looking to celebrate may not necessarily recognize the tremendous risk of arrest during this time of added patrolling, so parent should be sure to talk with them about the importance of staying sober or having a designated driver.