ABCC Kicks Off “Operation Safe Holidays”

Community Press Release

Enforcement Efforts will Focus on Impaired Driving Prevention

BOSTON —To ensure safety for everyone in Massachusetts during the holidays, the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) will be conducting alcohol enforcement at local bars in the major cities and towns from Thanksgiving Eve through New Year’s Eve.

In doing so, the ABCC hopes to prevent accidents caused by impaired driving and other alcohol-related harm that often occurs at this time of year. The ABCC will focus enforcement efforts at bars that have been identified as the last to sell alcohol to a convicted drunk driver, as well as working with municipal police departments that have identified high-risk locations in their communities.

“It is extremely important to deter bar owners from over-serving and prevent problems before they happen,” said State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg, who oversees the ABCC. “We simply want to keep people safe and make sure everyone can enjoy the holidays with their family and friends, avoiding tragedies before they occur.”

The program is run in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Impaired Driving Crackdown, from Thanksgiving Eve through New Year’s Eve, and is funded through the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security – Highway Safety Division.

The message is simple before Thanksgiving. The NHTSA says stop the blackout trend on Wednesday. The day before the holiday is known as ‘Blackout Wednesday’.

According to the NHTSA, from 2017 to 2021, 137 drivers involved in fatal crashes on Thanksgiving Eve (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) were alcohol impaired. In 2021 alone, 36 drivers were in fatal crashes on that day. Also, from 2017 to 2021, young drivers ages 21-24 represented the largest percentage of drivers involved in deadly crashes.

Alcohol is involved in 40 percent of traffic crash fatalities resulting in 17,013 fatalities and injuring an estimated 275,000 people annually. Data indicates that well over 50% of impaired driving arrests originate at bars.

About the ABCC: The Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission is an agency under the Office of the State Treasurer and Receiver General Deborah B. Goldberg. Its overall objective is to provide uniform control over the sale, purchase, transportation, manufacture, and possession of alcoholic beverages in the state.

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