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It has become one of the biggest drinking nights of the year. No, not Halloween or the Fourth of July, but the night before Thanksgiving. 

Perhaps it is because families are reunited, or because young people are home from college, or because of the many drink specials promoted by bars. Whatever the reason, Thanksgiving Eve has proven itself to be an unofficial holiday that’s officially linked to drunk driving.

In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 800 people were killed in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents from the Wednesday before Thanksgiving until Monday morning after Thanksgiving between the years 2012 to 2016. 

This makes the Thanksgiving holiday the deadliest of the year.

With that said, the NHTSA, the agency’s safety partners, and state and local law enforcement have been focusing heavily on the holiday with safety and law enforcement campaigns. That means, in addition to raising awareness on drinking and driving, there will be added police enforcement on Tennessee’s roads this Thanksgiving.

For that reason, it will be important to plan a sober ride ahead of time if you plan to go out and have a few drinks with friends or family. These days, finding a sober ride has never been easier with apps such as Uber and Lyft. It’s never worth the risk of driving after drinking.

If you do get into a situation where you are being accused of drinking and driving, remember what is at stake. The state of Tennessee does not take DUI offenses lightly, and even first-time offenders face mandatory jail time. If a serious or fatal accident was involved, the punishment can include lengthy time in prison.

Talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately to protect your rights.