WASHINGTON - Bars and restaurants in the District get to stay open extra late tonight in celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration is permitting over 200 establishments to extend their holiday hours and serve alcohol up to 4:00 a.m. during the holiday weekend.
The unofficial holiday – popularly known as 'Drinksgiving,' – is traditionally a way for those who are home for the holiday to reunite with friends and family at bars, restaurants or homes.
But officials urge caution for those who do drink and for those on the road.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that during the Thanksgiving holiday weekends (from the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to Sunday night) between 2015 and 2019 -- nearly 800 people died in crashes involving a drunk driver.
"It’s important to understand even a small amount of alcohol can affect a person quickly. For example, someone with a blood alcohol concentration of .02 can have some loss of judgment," NTSB said on their website.
The NTSB urges anyone who drives to watch their speed and buckle up – and anyone who does drink to use cabs, ride shares or designated drivers to make it home safely.
D.C., Maryland and Virginia programs are also available for drivers to get home safe.
The American Automobile Association (AAA) predicts that Thanksgiving travel will reach pre-pandemic levels with an estimated 53.4 million people hitting the roads.