Make it to the Table: Don’t drive impaired this Thanksgiving

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Dear Editor,

Turkey and stuffing. Sweet potatoes and green bean casserole. Pumpkin and apple pies. We’ve all got our Thanksgiving favorites. But the best part of Thanksgiving isn’t what’s on the table, it’s who’s at your table.

If you want to make sure that the people you love arrive to your table safely, urge them not to drive impaired by alcohol or drugs this Thanksgiving holiday. Over the past five years, more people have died in motor vehicle crashes — and more have died in crashes involving alcohol — around the Thanksgiving holiday than over any other holiday, period. More than the Fourth of July, Christmas, and even New Year’s Eve, which are more commonly associated with alcohol. There are also signs that an increasing number of people are driving when impaired by marijuana and other drugs.

One reason for the large number of Thanksgiving impaired-driving deaths may be that the days around the holiday are increasingly seen as a time to drink alcohol and use drugs, specifically marijuana. The night before Thanksgiving (which some call “Thanksgiving Eve”) has become a time for going out and drinking. Cooking with marijuana (Danksgiving) is apparently a new trend. In any case, no event should ever end with getting behind the wheel if impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Texas A&M AgriLife, Austin County, and the Watch UR BAC Project at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension reminds you that whatever your Thanksgiving holiday plans, make sure you’re planning a sober ride. Remind your family and friends about the safe options available to them. Or offer to be the designated driver. Then you’ll really have something to be grateful for on Thanksgiving: a home full of family and friends who made it to the table because they chose to drive sober.

Michelle Wright

Texas A&M AgriLife Community Health Educator

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