Dubbed "the biggest bar night of the year," Thanksgiving Eve is a popular time to hit the town with family and friends.
But whether you're planning to enjoy just one drink to ring in the holiday or figure on staying out until dawn, the golden rule on this night is safety first.
Plan Before You Party
With no school or work the next day, hitting the bars Thanksgiving Eve may seem a fantastic idea–that is until you realize you don't have a plan to get home after a night of revelry.
A trusted designated driver is always the best way to go, but if everyone in the party is planning to drink, scheduling a cab or driving service is the next best choice. Even choosing to walk to a nearby pub, or spending the evening at a friend's home is better than drinking and driving.
Bottom line? Have a plan before you head out.
Police departments across the county will have increased patrols, and while you may not see them, officers will be out in force Wednesday to keep drunken drivers off the streets.
St. Clair Shores Police will be one of nearly 100 agencies in 20 counties who will have stepped up patrols for drunk drivers. The efforts are supported by federal traffic safety funds.
"There are no breaks," said St. Clair Shores Police Lt. Steve Lambert. "You go to jail."
According to the Michigan State Police, motorist convicted of drunk driving can expect to face serious consequences including:
- Up to 93 days in jail
- Up to a $500 fine
- Up to 360 hours of community service
- 180 days driving suspension
- Six points on a driver's license
- Additionally, motorists will be subject to a $1,000 fee for two consecutive years, for a total of $2,000 in additional costs. Anyone who refuses a breath test the first time is given an automatic one-year driver's license suspension.
"With college kids coming home, people getting off work and the start of a 4-day weekend, it's very typical to see a lot of partying" Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said in a release. "The focus is to keep people from getting behind the wheel after they celebrate, by selecting a designated driver and just by knowing we'll be out there."
If you're planning to head out Thanksgiving Eve, schedule a pick up, or save the number of one of the companies below to make sure you and your friends get home safely.
Find a Bar or Restaurant Close to You
Bars and restaurants throughout St. Calir Shores have plenty of specials for a Thanksgiving Eve drink or non-turkey meal. Visit Patch's business directory to find the bar or restaurant that fits into your evening plans. And when you come home, be sure to rate your experience on that business' listing in directory, too.
Post-Party Word to the Wise
Believe it or not, alcohol is not a hydrating fluid, so no matter how much you drink, your body will still be feeling thirsty. Should you find yourself on the road to over-consumption tonight, opt for a few glasses of water or fruit juice between drinks and definitely before you go to bed.
Alcohol dehydrates the body, so replenishing the vitamins and liquid you lost during the party hours can make all the difference the next day. If you're not a fan of water, popular substitutes are Gatorade and Pedialyte (not just for kids).
Patch does not encourage or condone drinking, but should you choose to celebrate Thanksgiving Eve in this fashion, please be safe and whatever you do, don't drink and drive!