Thanksgiving Eve means beefed-up drunken driving patrols in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana

Bars also have ways to slow patrons down
Posted at 6:02 PM, Nov 23, 2016

CINCINNATI -- John Ford spent Wednesday putting the finishing touches on Second Place, a Northside bar opening just in time for Thanksgiving Eve.

It's by coincidence, he said, that Second Place would open on one of the biggest bar nights of the year. The Wednesday night before Thanksgiving has earned a few nicknames over the years, including "Drinksgiving" and "Blackout Wednesday," a play on Black Friday.

Ford said there's a great responsibility that comes with a place he wants customers to think of as a second home.

"It's up to your discretion who to serve and who not to. At some point, you can tell when people need to be cut off," he said.

According to AAA, Thanksgiving Eve is the worst night for drunken driving around the nation. With services such as Uber and Lyft, it's easer now to get home safely without driving while intoxicated.

Over Thanksgiving weekend last year, the Ohio State Highway Patrol arrested nearly 500 drunken drivers, up 11 percent from 2014. Ohio troopers, along with their counterparts in Kentucky in Indiana, will have enhanced patrols this holiday. Hamilton County deputies will be out looking for drunken and drugged drivers, too.

At Barleycorn's in Northern Kentucky Joe Heil also had his staff ready for a busy but safe night. His customers can get a winning deal: "If you spend $25, then Miller Lite is going to pick up your Uber tab," he said.

Ford said he's focused on winning Wednesday night even if it means taking someone out of the game.

"Sometimes when they're that drunk, you kind of steer them away from it or just give them a glass of water and be like finish your water and maybe we'll talk about another drink," he said.