ATLANTA (CBS460 -- As people prepare for the thanksgiving break the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to is preparing and warning people not to drink and drive.

The NHTSA reports during the Thanksgiving holiday period, more than four times as many drivers involved in fatal crashes at night are alcohol-impaired.

“Don’t drive impaired, just remember buzzed driving is drunk-driving so if you feel different, you do drive different,” said Deputy Austin Mathews, of the Forsyth County Sheriff's Department.

In Forsyth County they said they are increasing visibility.

“We’re out here trying to curb it, so you’ll see more of us out here, and that’s why. So buckle-up, put your phone down, slow down and pay attention,” Deputy Mathews said.

Restaurants and bars said they traditionally are busy as families get together.

“Starting like yesterday like Tuesday, Wednesday, you know people are coming in you know visiting families,” said a manager at a restaurant in midtown Atlanta.

Known as Blackout Wednesday the night before Thanksgiving attracts many looking to kick things off early.

The NHTSA said from 2015 to 2019 nearly 800 people died during Thanksgiving in alcohol-impaired crashes.

Families said the holidays brings extra cheer, but also extra precautions.

“Actually just walking here I always make sure I’m between him and the road, and making sure everybody knows and sees us,” said a mother out walking her son in Piedmont Park.

Authorities recommend preplanning and having a designated driver with you if you do plan to drink, otherwise using a rideshare company to get you home safe is also a great way to stay alive.

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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