Night before Thanksgiving is one of the worst days of the year for drunk driving

Law enforcement looking for drunk drivers
Posted at 7:11 PM, Nov 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-23 19:11:14-05

We're taking action for you, warning you about one of the biggest bar nights of the year. Tampa Bay law enforcement will be looking for anyone driving under the influence.

People are celebrating the unofficial holiday, the night before Thanksgiving. Whether you're kicking off the start of a four-day weekend, or mentally preparing for intense family time, bar owners and law enforcement want to make sure you're partying safely.

“Everyone plans to go out, like we have like group chats and Facebook and everyone’s like ready,” Ally Conley said.

“They’re just looking to unwind and get their holiday started and you know to have a good time,”Arthur Paula, director of operations for Four Green Fields, said.

Wednesday night is a night his business waits for, one of four holidays guaranteed to pack the bar.

“It’s one of the biggest going out nights of the year so lots of people are off, they’re off for the next four or five days, so this presents you know a pretty good opportunity for all the bars and restaurants,” Paula said.

Law enforcement also knows about Wednesday night's festivities. Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office deputies will be stopping suspected drunk drivers, along with Florida Highway Patrol and Tampa Police.

FHP said their specialized task force makes 140-170 DUI arrests a month in Tampa Bay.

People behind the bar will encourage patrons to use Uber or Lyft to get home.

“If somebody comes in and they look like they’re already impaired, they’re not getting a drink here, we rarely have those situations, but you know, as people are having a good time we’ll encourage people to make sure that they get home safe,” Paula said.

It's all so you can enjoy the pre-party now, and still make it to Thanksgiving.

“Just excitement, I feel, like in the air, like you know that you’re off and that you get to see people, so it’s just like fun all around,” Conley said.

You'll see more patrols on the road throughout the holiday weekend, so be aware and be safe.