MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The day before Thanksgiving is known as 'Black Wednesday' and it has nothing to do with shopping. It's a big party night for teenagers, but many of them never make it to the dining room table the next day.
Also known as 'Black-Out Wednesday,' it's a night when teenagers get together with their friends before spending Thanksgiving with their families. The young people have easier access to alcohol since there's more of it around for the adults. Parents don't pay attention to what's in the home's liquor cabinet, and kids take it and share with their friends.
Dell Russell with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) tells parents to talk to their kids before the holidays about not drinking. "We do have influence over our children, and it's not a rite of passage," she said.
Students at South Panola High School in Batesville, Mississippi heard the message from a mock, but graphic demonstration of what it's like to be in a drunk driving crash. But, hearing the message and getting the message are often different.
"I'm not sure young people think long term. They think about what I want to do right now, this seems like it'll be fun so let's go dot it," Russell said. "They don't realize that, if I die, I'm gone forever. They don't think about that."
Approximately 2,000 people under the age of 20 are killed annually after drinking and driving. That's why starting at 6:00pm on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, local and state police all over the Mid-South will begin saturation patrols looking for drunk drivers.