NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Thanksgiving is the busiest time for travel for the entire year. However, people aren’t just heading home for the holidays.
They’re also heading out for a drink. Thanksgiving Eve is regarded by some as the busiest bar night of the year.
It’s known as “Drunksgiving” or “Black Out Wednesday.” That’s because many people are home for the holidays and don’t have work the following day.
“It’s a great night to go out,” said Nashville native Perry Webb from the Greenhouse Bar in Green Hills. He’s home to visit his family.
“Everyone is back in town from wherever they live. You get to see old friends and your family members and have a good time without work the next day,” Webb told News 2.
In some cities, Thanksgiving Eve is even busier than New Year’s Eve.
Over at the bar Loser’s in Midtown, owner Steve Ford said on a normal Wednesday he has three bartenders on the schedule.
On Thanksgiving Eve, he has six bartenders on staff and extra drinks on hand.
“We always prepare heavily for this night because it is a big night,” Ford said. “Our bartenders and security are always ready to get someone into a cab or an Uber or Lyft if they’ve had too much.”
Lyft is prepared for the influx of passengers. It sent an email to its drivers Wednesday morning saying they’re guaranteed to make $18 an hour between 7 p.m. Thanksgiving Eve and 3 a.m. Thanksgiving morning.
But according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol-related crashes increase during the holidays.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol has several DUI checkpoints across the state but says it will remain focused on the Interstate 40 corridor.
Local law enforcement will also be out in full force looking for drunk drivers.
Last year, five people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in Tennessee over the Thanksgiving holiday.