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'Drinksgiving' holiday brings business to bars and anxiety to public safety officials

Bars prepare for Drinksgiving
Posted at 9:25 PM, Nov 24, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The day before Thanksgiving has, over the last several years, unofficially been dubbed "Drinksgiving" by people who flock to the bars ahead of the stressful holiday season of travel and family gatherings.

For bar owners like Derek Stonebarger in the Downtown Arts District, the day means steady business.

"We always say it's the busiest drinking day of the year," he said standing outside of Davy's and Rebar, his two businesses.


Stonebarger said 2021 has been a rough year as the continued coronavirus pandemic dissuaded people from grabbing a drink around strangers and a night that almost guarantees a profit was welcome.

"Things are so inconsistent these days," he said. "You never know if you're going to be slammed or you're going to be dead, and it's hard to staff. It's hard to staff in this post-COVID or in this COVID world so at least we know it's going to be busy."

The day is also known as Blackout Wednesday, and that title has put police on high alert for drunk drivers.

"Impaired drivers never take a day off, and they work double-time on the holidays and weekends," said Andrew Bennett, public information officer for the Nevada State Police.

Bennett said Thanksgiving weekend has been one of the top five most dangerous holidays when it comes to drunk driving so more than two dozen agencies have teamed up to increase DUI enforcement.

"Unfortunately Blackout Wednesday is something we've been dealing with here in our state and across the country for the last several years," he said.

Despite the now former Nevada Highway Patrol changing the agency name to Nevada State Police, Bennett said people should still dial *NHP or 911 to report a suspected drunk driver before they injure themselves or others.

Stonebarger said drinkers should think twice before ever getting behind the wheel.

"An Uber, ride share, that's the way to go for sure," he said.

The Office of Traffic Safety has teamed up with 26 organizations to provide $10 off a single Lyft ride from Wednesday through Friday so people can have a cheap way home safely.

Bennett said the code SAFETURKEY2021 will activate the discount when calling a ride.