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Thanksgiving Eve found to be most common night for drunk driving

If asked about the most dangerous night to be out on Ohio's roads with respect to drunk driving, many readers would probably assume the main culprit would be St. Patrick's Day, or perhaps New Year's Eve. They would be wrong, however. According to Ohio police, the biggest night of the year for drunk drivers is Thanksgiving Eve.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving fatalities have been rising recently. In 2012, fatalities were up 4.6 percent over the previous year, for a total of over 10,000 deaths.

All too often, the victims are innocent motorists, who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. In 1995, for example, a Whitehouse woman was struck by an uninsured drunk driver. The collision damaged her right leg and left hand, requiring multiple surgeries. 18 years later, the woman still has not recovered fully.

On Thanksgiving Day 1990, another Ohio woman lost her 24-year-old son to a drunk driver, an event that led her to speak loudly and repeatedly about the dangers of drunk driving.

The fact is, there are many alternatives to drunk driving -- people can take a cab, or get a ride with a sober friend or even stay the night at a friend's house. There's no excuse for getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. It's a decision that harms thousands of people every year, and tears families apart.

All too often, the physical injuries are not the only damage inflicted by the drunk driver. In many cases, the collision incurs severe medical costs as well, making it difficult for victims to stay financially sound. Often, victims in this situation file personal injury lawsuits as a way to seek compensation for lost wages, medical bills and emotional distress.

The Toledo Blade, "Thanksgiving Eve worst for drunk driving" Jennifer Feehan, Nov. 25, 2013

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