Stroudsburg, Monroe County – With Christmas parties and New Year’s celebrations this time of year can be especially deadly for drivers.
PennDOT found a moving way to spread awareness about driving while drunk or high. It has a roving DUI memorial trailer. That trailer stopped in Stroudsburg Wednesday.
Ashley Honey of Kunkletown found her brother’s name on the memorial wall. "He had a lot of life ahead of him. It was taken away for a drunk driver,” she said with tears in her eyes.
A drunk driver killed Jason Honey in 2006. Jason was 16 years old when someone slammed head on into his car. Honey said, "It never goes away. Eight years later and I still cry, I still wish I could see him. I wish I knew who he could have been today."
Honey gave her son the middle name “Jason” in honor of her brother. She was glad to see the state honor Jason on the roving memorial.
George Geisler is the Director of Law Enforcement Services for the Pennsylvania DUI Association. He said, "It's a moving billboard. Essentially we're driving down the road and people understand that people die because people have made the conscious decision to get behind the wheel of a car and drive after they've consumed alcoholic beverages and drugs."
Geisler travels all over Pennsylvania with the trailer. He hopes seeing the 1,800 DUI victim’s names reminds people to stay sober behind the wheel."You want to drink when you are at a party, that's great just don't get behind the wheel of a car and drive,” he said.
Awareness efforts seem to be working. DUI crashes have dropped by nearly 800 a year since 2005. Monroe County District Attorney Detective Robert Burns said, "We take the position that is still just an unacceptable number."
The police and Ashley don’t want to see drunk drivers hurt anyone. They hope the moving memorial moves people to be safe. Honey said, "It means a lot to me to know that people come in here and they look at it and hopefully it makes them realize to never do it in their life."
PennDOT is increasing DUI enforcement through the end of the year. It got federal highway safety money to add police patrols.