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We love Thanksgiving here – the gustatory challenge of mounds of turkey, sweet potato casserole, greenbean casserole, and well, other casseroles. There are few things more delightful than getting together with loved ones and digging in to a heaping table of food.

Yet some of the things that can make this holiday so pleasant can also turn it sour.

Travel

The roads can be quite treacherous Thanksgiving weekend – it’s often considered one of the worst travel weekends of the year. The combination of adverse weather conditions, mass travel across largely unknown roads, and of course, the alcohol consumption that often comes with Thanksgiving all combine to greatly increase the number of driving fatalities that occur on Thanksgiving.

If you’re taking the roads around Thanksgiving, be alert, aware, and of course, sober.

Underage drinking

Thanksgiving also ranks as one of the biggest days of the year for underage drinking. Often, this takes the form of permissive relatives giving underage kids a drink before or during Thanksgiving. While this may seem harmless, studies have shown a connection between permissive attitudes to underage drinking and later alcohol abuse and/or behavioral problems.

Thanksgiving is also a time for college students to return home and, upon seeing each other again, often marking the time with binge drinking. While it can be difficult for parents to step in with harsh rules when their teenager may no longer be living at home, boundaries can and should be set. And at the minimum, parents must always make sure that their child and child’s friends are safe.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year, but it’s no holiday from the consequences of underage drinking and drunk driving. Please be safe this holiday season.