ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — While some were prepping their turkey dinner Wednesday night, others were celebrating Thanksgiving Eve. The night has garnered a reputation connected with drinking, and police departments add extra DWI patrols.
If you’ve been drinking this Thanksgiving weekend, it’s best to have a plan on how you’re getting home safely. Starting Wednesday, if you do have too much to drink, you can get a free Uber ride home by simply scanning a QR code and clicking on the link.
Restaurants and bars still recovering from pandemic restrictions enjoy the business, but owners want repeat customers and a safe environment. “This is a great opportunity for downtown Albany to show that we want people to come and enjoy the nightlife here, but allow people to do it responsibly,” said Dominick Purnomo, who owns Yono’s.
According to the National Highway traffic administration, From 2015 to 2019, nearly 800 people died during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. One hundred thirty-five drivers involved in fatal crashes on Thanksgiving Eve were drunk. Something the Albany Business Improvement District and the DeCrescente Distributing Company want to prevent.
“If you live in Clifton Park, if you live in Troy—not just in the city of Albany—you can get up to $50 for your rides home,” explained Georgette Steffans, Executive Director of Albany BID. “You can use it multiple times throughout the weekend.”
Yono’s is one of the restaurants participating, and thanks to the Parking Authority, you can leave your car in the Riverfront garage for free throughout the weekend.
In another effort to prevent drunk driving, a bill has been introduced in the state legislature to lower the blood alcohol content level to .05 from .08. “Utah is the only state that passed it. The first year after Utah passed it, they saw a 70% and 30% reduction in DWI rates,” stated William Aiken, President of Removing Intoxicated Drivers. “That’s amazing!”
However, in New York, this legislation is still pending.