DOT: ‘Blackout Wednesday’ is deadliest holiday for driving

FORT MYERS, Fla. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office urges those participating in Blackout Wednesday to be responsible on the road.

Thanksgiving Eve is a popular night for people to go out to the bars and celebrate the long weekend ahead. But it can also be one of the most dangerous nights for drivers.

Over 800 people died in alcohol-related crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend between 2012 and 2016, according to the Department of Transportation. The holiday is known as one of the deadliest for drivers.

Lee County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Adam Petrulis says deputies will be patrolling high-traffic areas.

“Tonight we’ll just do our normal saturation patrols of the areas where there’s the most traffic coming through, especially where we see the most crashes and the most DUI related crashes,” he said.

Kyle Cebull, the owner of Millenial Brewery on Royal Palm Avenue, wants to help people to get home to their families safe.

“It’s kind of widely regarded as one of the busier bar nights of the year, so we prepare accordingly. We’ve got plenty of staff, plenty of access to cabs and Ubers and nickel rides,” Cebull said.

Deputies remind residents to always plan their night ahead by naming a designated driver, planning a ride-share service or taxi.

“It’s very frustrating because it’s something easily preventable,” Petrulis said.