CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Wednesday is “Blackout Wednesday” and it can be one of more dangerous nights to drive, which is why police and safety officials are asking you to think before you drink.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that between 2016 to 2020, 821 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes during the Thanksgiving Holiday period. That’s why Springfield Police Spokesperson Ryan Walsh said it’s so important to have a plan before you go out for a drink, like getting a ride to the bar or using a rideshare app.

“If you’re keys and car are there at the end of the night, sometimes you make poor decisions. So just leave your keys at home, leave your car at home, get a ride to wherever you’re going so everyone gets home safe and you get to celebrate the holidays together,” said Walsh.

The Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) will also begin “Operation Safe Holidays” this week, where they will be increasing their alcohol enforcement efforts at bars across the Commonwealth for the rest of the year.

The ABCC is hoping to prevent impaired driving and other alcohol-related incidents this holiday season. The enforcement will begin on Wednesday, Thanksgiving Eve, and will continue through New Year’s Eve.

“We want to make sure that everyone gets to enjoy the holidays with family and friends while at the same time avoiding tragedy and staying safe,” said State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg, who oversees the ABCC. “Vigilant enforcement and deterring bar owners from over-serving prevents problems before they happen and helps keep people safe.”

Local police departments will work with the state to identify high-risk locations across the state. This program runs alongside the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Impaired Driving Crackdown.

According to the ABCC, alcohol is involved in 40 percent of traffic deaths, which results in 17,013 deaths and an estimated 275,000 injuries annually. Data also shows that more than 50 percent of impaired driving arrests originate from bars.