EUGENE, Ore. -- Bars in Eugene are preparing for one of their busiest days of the year, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It's been called "Drinksgiving."
Abby Lytle, the bar manager at the Side Bar off of Coburg Road, said they are expecting over a hundred people to come through their doors Wednesday night.
"This is probably one of our busiest days of the year for us, believe it or not," Lytle said.
She said in previous years, the crowd has been a mix of both young and old people, including families getting together for food and drinks and friends reuniting over the holidays. She said it can be just as busy as St. Patrick's Day.
"People just looking to get that one last little outing before all the family time," Lytle said.
Meanwhile, the Oregon Health Authority has sent a survey to 30,000 randomly selected residents across the state to learn more about their drinking habits.
State officials said the holiday season often encourages excessive drinking.
Megan Gerdes, the manager for the project, said the survey aims to learn more about people's perception of the dangers of excessive alcohol use and is part of a much larger study. She said they will use the data to come up with solutions and share it
"How do we communicate information in a way that resonates, that connects?" said Gerdes. "And that people in the public know how to take steps for themselves to drink less."
The Oregon Department of Transportation said in the last five years, they have seen a downward trend in the number of people killed in alcohol-related crashes across the state during the Thanksgiving holiday.
In 2014, ODOT reports five out of the nine fatal crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday involved alcohol. In 2018, there were seven people killed in crashes during the Thanksgiving season but none of them involved alcohol.
They are encouraging drivers to not drive impaired or distracted and to wear their seatbelts.
The Oregon Health Authority said if you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or drugs and needs assistance, please call 800-923-4357. They can also text “RecoveryNow” to 839863. You can learn more about the Lines for Life 24/7 free, confidential and anonymous services at https://www.linesforlife.org/get-help-now/.
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