Thanksgiving eve should be a warm and fuzzy family night as college students return home and older adult children who live a distance fly back to the nest. More likely, the college kids will dump their bags by the front door and dash out again to catch up with high school chums. While the older 20-something siblings might make it through dinner, they, too, then will head out to a local bar or party. The night before Thanksgiving has become a social scene, a time to see and be seen. But it’s not all fun. Because of excessive drinking, the night has been dubbed Blackout Wednesday — as in blacking out from too many drinks.
The consequences are frightening: The proportion of people killed in drunk driving crashes over the Thanksgiving holiday spiked by 30 percent in 2010 compared to the rest of the year. Binge drinking is often the cause, and it’s particularly prevalent among millennials.