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Published November 23, 2011, 09:59 PM

Thanksgiving Eve marks nation's biggest night for underage drinking

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is often one of the deadliest on roads and for drinking violations. But what you may not know. Thanksgiving eve is the night underage drinking skyrockets.

By: Travis Skonseng, WDAY

The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is often one of the deadliest on roads and for drinking violations. But what you may not know. Thanksgiving eve is the night underage drinking skyrockets.

Robyn Litke – Safe Communities Coalition: “Our culture here, unfortunately, tells us that we can't celebrate unless we have alcohol present.”

On a night when children come home from college for Thanksgiving, many face challenges. It’s the first time, seeing old friends.

Robyn Litke: “This holiday just like pretty much any holiday in our area is celebrated with alcohol and it's often times around kids, underage individuals. Some are served by their parents, older brothers, sisters.”

The fridge is stocked, parents are distracted, and the liquor flows, illegally.

Robyn Litke: “They're just following the lead of their adult role models.”

Mothers Against Drunk Driving calls Thanksgiving Eve the biggest night for underage drinking. Surprisingly, more so than prom or graduation.

Lt. Aaron Hummel: “That is definitely one thing that we are looking for.”

But that trouble leads to more concerns like minors getting behind the wheel after a night of partying, only to crash and possibly kill.

Lt. Aaron Hummel: “The percentage of alcohol fatalities in the state is nearly 50% year after year. Alcohol does play a major factor in these fatal crashes.”

Robyn Litke: “It leads to fatalities. It leads to serious injuries and we don't want to see that happen especially when it's 100% preventable.”

Adults who give minors alcohol can be charged with a misdemeanor. In Fargo, that can mean 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. That's the same for minors caught with alcohol.

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