EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — Thanksgiving is undoubtedly one of the busiest times of year, on and off the road. Police say people tend to drink more around the holidays, making it especially dangerous for drivers out-and-about.

To prevent crashes, the Indiana State Police tells us they’ll be ramping up their patrols as part of the “Safe Family Travel” campaign. Starting this week, officers will be out in greater numbers to discourage impaired driving and promote seatbelt use.

“We’re not telling people they can’t drink. We’re asking people to be responsible and to not drink and drive,” says Lieutenant Brian Bailey, Commander of the Evansville District. “The holidays shouldn’t be marked by tragedy, so don’t ruin your life or the life of someone else by getting behind the wheel impaired. You will be held accountable if you do.”

In Indiana, police say 932 people lost their lives on the road last year, a four percent increase from 2020. Of those fatalities, twelve happened during the Thanksgiving holiday season, with more than half found unbuckled at the time of the crash.

“Impaired driving is life-threatening, but even more so around the holidays,” said Robert Duckworth, ICJI Traffic Safety Director. “With so many ride options available, there’s no reason that should be the case. We’re asking everyone to plan accordingly and to make safety a priority. Our goal is zero fatalities this year.”

With officers on high-alert, motorists are encouraged to plan ahead to get home safely by having a designated driver, using public transportation or a ride service such as Uber or Lyft.

“Even if one drink is consumed, never drive impaired or let friends get behind the wheel if they’ve been drinking,” ISP adds in a press release.

Authorities remind everyone to wear a seatbelt, put away distractions and always avoid speeding.