Stay Safe This Thanksgiving: Don't Drink and Drive Urges the Michigan Liquor Control Commission

November 24, 2021 - Thanksgiving Eve is the biggest bar night of the year with heavy alcohol consumption as friends and families gather for the holiday. It is also one of the deadliest nights on Michigan roads. The Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) is urging everyone to celebrate Thanksgiving responsibly by not binge drinking, not drinking and driving, and planning ahead to get a safe ride home. In addition, liquor licensees are reminded to always check identification to ensure patrons' legal drinking age, serve patrons responsibly and know the signs of intoxication.      

"It's never OK to drink and drive as it's not only illegal, it's deadly, and no one should ever take that risk," said MLCC Chair Pat Gagliardi. "Even if you've only had one drink, make it your priority to ensure the safety of yourself and others. Give the car keys to a sober friend, or use public transportation or a rideshare service to avoid impaired driving and get home safely." 

Ridesharing services are making it easier for people to not drive drunk. According to a new study by the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, ridesharing services may be lowering drunk driving deaths. More rideshare trips mean fewer alcohol-involved accidents. The convenience of rideshare services such as Lyft and Uber can be booked through phone apps, giving people no excuse to make the wrong decision.

The MLCC offers the state's liquor licensees and their patrons these important reminders to help ensure a safe Thanksgiving holiday weekend. 

Consumer Tips for a Safe Night Out

  • Plan a safe way home before you leave the house. Once you start drinking you likely won't make good choices.
  • Designate a sober driver plan to use public transportation or ride sharing services to get home safely.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911 to reach law enforcement.
  • Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

Tips for Liquor Licensees

  • Ask for valid identification to verify a patron's age is 21 years or older before selling or serving alcohol to them. 
  • Serve responsibly to ensure that no one becomes intoxicated in your business.
  • Do not sell or serve alcoholic beverages to individuals who appear intoxicated and do not allow an intoxicated person to consume alcoholic beverages on the licensed premises.
  • Intoxicated individuals who enter your establishment are not allowed to purchase or consume alcohol.
  • Know your establishment's capacity level to avoid overcrowding that can lead to obstructed exits which are safety and fire hazards.
  • Maintain order and control of the premises through constant observance of customers and situations.

The MLCC joins with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to remind Michiganders that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving and if you feel different, you drive different. For more information, visit www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving.

According to NHTSA, from 2015 to 2019, more than 800 people died in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday period (6 p.m. Wednesday to 5:59 a.m. Monday), making it one of the deadliest holidays. In fact, during 2017 alone, more than one out of every three traffic fatalities during the Thanksgiving holiday period ​involved an alcohol-impaired driver.

MLCC Commissioners Gagliardi, Olshove, Lasher, Toma and Gonzales wishes all Michiganders a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

It is the mission of the MLCC to make alcoholic beverages available for consumption while protecting the consumer and the general public through the regulation of those involved in the importation, sale, consumption, distribution, and delivery of these alcohol products.

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