FOX VALLEY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Calumet County, Fond du Lac County, Outagamie County, Winnebago County

Thanksgiving Eve tops New Year’s Eve as biggest bar night for some, adds possibility of safety risk

Local News

APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – Safety is always at the top of the mind of police but that’s especially so on so-called “bar holidays.”

“We will be out there with increased hours for safety purposes,” explained Lt. Meghan Cash, of the Appleton Police Department. “So there will be officers for specifically driving drunk, drug driving, that something we’ve been seeing a lot lately.”

Some bar owners say Thanksgiving Eve has surpassed New Year’s Eve as the biggest day of the year.

Mark Mader, a partner at the Appleton Beer Factory and a member of the Board of Directors for the Outagamie County Tavern League said, “Tonight’s the biggest night of the year. It’s actually surpassed New Years in some places. It’s a great time to get together with friends and family and celebrate the holiday season. So it’s a huge night and a night like tonight can make up a huge part of your month.”

Police and bar owners are encouraging everyone to plan ahead and arrange a ride from family and friends or book an Uber, Lyft, or a Taxi.

“You gotta make sure you have a plan in place. There’s a lot of bars that we offer through the Outagamie County Tavern League that we have safe ride for our customers,” said Mader. “So all you have to do is make sure you let the bar owner or manager know and they can get you hooked up with a safe ride back.”

Lt. Cash warns driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol comes with some pretty hefty consequences, outside of just the legal system.

“It’s a very difficult conversation for our officers to have to tell someone their loved one is gone because of somebody who chose to drink and drive,” said Cash.

If you need help getting home make sure to ask an employee to see if they can help you find a ride.

You can find a link to the Safe Ride program though the Tavern League of Wisconsin here.

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