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CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) - 'Twas the night before Thanksgiving at the Fieldhouse, and the only things stirring - or shaking in this case - are drinks.
"It's starting to fill up now, we're just gonna expect more people to be coming," said Carly Cooper, a bartender at the Fieldhouse.
It's a similar scene at bars nationwide, as Pre-Thanksgiving celebrations are finding their seat at the counter. For bars around the country, Thanksgiving Eve is busier than St. Patricks Day. The Fieldhouse says it's their third busiest night of the year.
Pam Jernigan came all the way from Dallas to visit her family for Thanksgiving.
...But that's tomorrow.
"Everybody wants to come out, let their hair down before you do all that, and that's what we do," Jernigan said, a cold glass of Shock Top sitting on the table in front of her.
Some, however, are pushing that fun to the limit. That includes college students back home for break. A quick scan of Twitter and Facebook shows the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is now 'Black Out Wednesday', a night designated for excessive drinking. The Iowa State Patrol will be on the roads tonight and throughout the Thanksgiving weekend.
"We want people to be cognizant that we are out there, we are taking a zero tolerance approach," ISP trooper Paul Nowak said.
ISP's biggest concern is drinkers knowing their limits.
"Even if you feel that remote chance that you're over the legal limit, we want you to be responsible," Nowak said.
The Fieldhouse says they will be keeping an eye out for that very thing.
"If someone has had way too many to drink, we're stopping them, letting them know we're more than happy to call a cab," Cooper said.
Jernigan says it's less about prevention and more about moderation.
"You can't tell a college kid not to drink, but you can tell them to drink smart," Jernigan said. "There's too many ways to get home without driving."
Nine people lost their lives on Iowa roads last thanksgiving weekend according to the state. 79 others received OWI citations during that week as well.
In addition to being known as blackout Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving is also known as Black Wednesday. It's a day when traffic accidents spike. According to Progressive Insurance, accidents increase by 38% in Iowa, among the highest rates in the nation.