From the Washington State Patrol:
Tonight is the annual Pierce County DUI Candlelight Vigil hosted by the Tacoma/Pierce County DUI Victims Impact Panel. During the evening loved ones will get the opportunity to remember those family member or friends who were killed or seriously injured by drunk drivers in Pierce County.
In 2008 13,846 lives were taken in the Unites States as a result of an alcohol related collision. In Washington State alone in 2008, 225 alcohol related fatalities occurred. The Victims Impact Panel was created to educate the public on the reality and devastation that happens when someone is seriously injured or killed by a drunk driver. The Victims Impact Panel consists of victims and offenders, and in some cases, they happen to be one and the same. The panel lasts approximately two hours and three victims speak on their experiences. The first Pierce County panel was held in July of 1991 with 15 defendants attending. Since that time, the numbers have increased to approximately 125-150 per month.
This year’s vigil will be held at Columbia Jr. High in Fife. The evening will start at 5:30 p.m. with a light meal and a silent auction. This year there will be over 40 gift baskets to bid on. Some of the baskets include: Seahawks Team Basket, Coffee Lover’s Baskets, winter car kit, craft baskets, and many more. There is something for everyone! The money raised will go to victim families of DUI for food and gifts during the holiday season.