DUI Memorial, a reminder for safe travels this holiday
BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS Names of three people killed in a Schuylkill County crash in 1999 are among the more than 3,000 names on the Pennsylvania DUI AssociationÃÂÃÂ´s Victims Moving Memorial.
The DUI Victims Moving Memorial made its way to the Lehighton Walmart on Thursday morning, presented by the Pennsylvania DUI Association.
Inside the 30-foot trailer, painted to resemble a serene garden, more than 2,000 names listed to commemorate the victims of crashes involving someone under the influence in Pennsylvania.
David Everly, the regional sobriety checkpoint coordinator of the PA Traffic Safety Network, found this holiday season to be an appropriate time for the memorial to stop by.
In just one year from June 30 to July 9, a total of 256 alcohol-related accidents occurred in the state, and 11 were fatal.
Jean Engler, Carbon County Assistant District Attorney, who said that one-third of cases filed in the Carbon County District Attorney's office last year were DUI cases, which include alcohol, drugs and prescription drugs.
"Although this time of year is a beloved and patriotic celebration of our nations's birthday, it is also a deadly season on our nation's highways," Engler said.
The Moving Memorial makes its way around the state, specifically during periods of time when crashes are more likely to occur, often visiting schools.
The interior garden setting was painted to replicate the original Pennsylvania DUI Victim's Memorial Garden at the association's headquarters in Harrisburg, which was dedicated in 2003.
Engler said, "These deaths are caused by actions and decisions which are so easily preventable by planning ahead."
She urged people to take responsible action and ask for a ride home after you've been drinking alcohol, or simply not drink at all.
That doesn't just apply to the Fourth of July; it should be a regular practice, Engler said.
"We in law enforcement have seen the devastaton vested upon the families and loved ones of the deceased victims," Engler said.