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West Hartford bars busy on Thanksgiving Eve for ‘Drinksgiving’

As people head home, they can expect some company on the roads; West Hartford PD said they’re increasing their patrols and are on the lookout for impaired drivers.

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. — With people coming home for Thanksgiving and locals looking to celebrate, bars anticipate a full house.

West Hartford bars, like The Elbow Room on Farmington Ave, expected a busy night on Thanksgiving Eve, known by some as “Drinksgiving” or “Blackout Wednesday.”

“The night before Thanksgiving, infamously known as the busiest drinking holiday of the year,” said Walter Beaulieu, General Manager of The Elbow Room.

As people head home, they can expect some company on the roads; West Hartford PD said they’re increasing their patrols and are on the lookout for impaired drivers.

RELATED: Local restaurants, bakeries busy filling orders ahead of Thanksgiving

“We’re definitely expecting a really busy evening. It’s been a couple of years since we’ve really had no restrictions,” Beaulieu said.

But with all the celebration comes a warning.

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“Drinksgiving is one of the most dangerous nights on the road because there are a lot of party goers out there. It’s the first time that a lot of college students go home and then people are off tomorrow,” Tracy Noble, spokesperson of AAA Greater Hartford, said.

From 2015-2019, nearly 800 people died in crashes involving a drunk driver during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

RELATED: CT DOT offers Uber discount to reduce impaired driving during the holiday season

West Hartford Police increased their patrols Wednesday for the holiday.

“There’s probably very little places you can drive in west Hartford without seeing a cruiser tonight. We have a significant amount of patrol cars we put on specifically for the holiday,” Eric Rocheleau, Public Information Officer for West Hartford PD, said. “Use your designated drivers. Do not drink and drive and hopefully if you see our cruisers and our cruise lights on, that is the message. We’ll be out there, we’ll be behind you looking for you.”

Connecticut’s Department of Transportation is offering a $10 discount code for Uber to reduce impaired driving. Use the code “SAVETHENIGHTCT.”

Elisha Machado is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at emachado@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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