NORFOLK, Neb. -- Law enforcement agencies around Nebraska are in for a busy holiday weekend.

The Nebraska State Patrol is one of many agencies gearing up to keep the roads safe this Thanksgiving.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is known as "Blackout Wednesday" a day that college students and people traveling home use as a way to catch up with their friends at bars in their town.

"This is an increased weekend not only for travelers but also folks coming home to visit their family and the college students are coming home," said Lt. Paul Hagen of the NSP. "We know there is going to be an increase in alcohol-related traffic crashes or driving under the influence so we try and amp up our enforcement during this period."

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between 2013 and 2017,  more than 800 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday period.

Those that drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs could lose their license, be arrested, or harm or kill someone.

"The biggest reason why it's important not to drink and drive is the risk to yourself and the risk to the public," Lt. Hagen said. "Under that impairment, you're more likely to be involved in a traffic crash and we don't want to see anyone get hurt and have a life-changing event or something that is totally preventable."

According to the National Department of Transportation, Nebraska suffered 72 deaths in 2020 due to alcohol-related fatalities.

Lt. Hagen shared some of the best ways to prevent drunk driving.

"If you know you are going to consume alcoholic beverages, just have a plan. Whether you're going to assign a designated driver back home or there are different services that you can call to come to pick you up and give you a ride," he said. "There could be public transport with that. Or if you know you're going to consume alcoholic beverages, stay home."

The Nebraska State Patrol are one of several agencies to have also received a grant from the NHTSA for troopers to receive 70 overtime hours to patrol the roads this weekend.