DUI Victim Tree at Milford Memorial Hospital

Alison Kirk, Community Relations Officer with Office of Highway Safety

Staff of the Bayhealth Medical Center and the Delaware Office of Highway Safety launched the 12th Annual Safe Family Holiday Campaign with a third DUI Victim’s Tree in the trauma unit at Bayhealth Medical Center in Milford.   DUI Victim Trees have been set up in the DMV lobbies in the past but are now being moved to hospital trauma units to bring more attention and awareness to the dangers of impaired driving during the holiday season. 

 The DUI Victim’s Tree project memorializes alcohol-related deaths and injuries which occur during the campaign period by placing colored light bulbs on the tree to represent each victim.  Each red bulb on the tree symbolizes someone killed in an alcohol-related crash in Delaware between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.  Each green light bulb symbolizes someone injured in an impaired driving crash.  A total of four DUI Victim’s Trees will be put up over the holiday season statewide; Bayhealth in Milford and dover, Bebe Medical Center in Lewes, and A.I. DuPont in Wilmington. 

 Last year 4 people were killed in alcohol related crashes during the 2009 holiday season and 49 others were injured.  Currently 31 people have lost their lives in alcohol related crashes in 2010 compared to 38 at this time last year.  As the 2010 holiday season begins the Office of Highway Safety and Delaware law enforcement will increase the DUI checkpoints, patrols, and public awareness activities and media messaging to stop impaired and other dangerous drivers.