Candlelight vigil honors victims of drunk driving

MADD Hawaii held their annual candlelight vigil Sunday evening, honoring the memories of those whose lives were forever changed by an impaired driver.

Families and friends gathered at the Atherton Chapel on South Beretania Street. It gave community members the chance to honor victims of drunk driving, and with the holidays just around the corner, many are driving home a very important message.

And you can tell how passionate they are about this message. Some have brought photos of their loved ones they tragically lost from a drunk driving accident. They don’t wish this kind of pain on anyone else.

It’s been 30 years since Carole McNamee founded the Hawaii chapter of MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Nowadays, McNamee believes things have really turned around. “The phrase ‘designated driver’ was never known 30 years ago,” she said, “and now it is.”

But despite increased public awareness, drinking and driving still continues. So as we head into the holiday season, MADD hopes more people who drink will think twice before getting behind the wheel.”

You would never forgive yourself if you killed someone with your vehicle, or a pedestrian, or injured someone.”

Take it from Louise Cayetano. “My nephew was hit by a drunk driver. He was killed. He was on a motorcycle. There was a service member going home drunk — had hit him and his girlfriend on his motorcycle and dragged him quite a ways.”>

“Every year, in the state of Hawaii, we lose between 45 and 50 of our residents and citizens in drunk-driving crashes,” McNamee said.

She wants those numbers down to zero. “I mean, thousands of dollars if you get a DUI. And the risk of injuring someone else or killing someone else? Not worth it!”

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, MADD urges people to plan ahead. If you’re going to drink, make sure you have a designated driver, or hail a cab.

Save a life.

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