On Friday, November 20th, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Colorado held its annual Candlelight Vigil for the state’s victims and survivors of drunk and drugged driving crashes. MADD hosted the vigil online with victims and survivors joining from across the state to honor and remember loved ones.

Approximately 100 attendees joined together to light candles, watch a poignant slideshow showing the faces of those injured and killed in drunk and drugged driving crashes, and to support one another.

“MADD’s Candlelight Vigil is an opportunity to honor and remember those killed and injured in drunk and drugged driving crashes in Colorado,” said Fran Lanzer, MADD Colorado State Executive Director. “Remembering these tragedies is not only important to those who are bereaved and injured, but it is also crucial to reminding our community about their role in eliminating these 100 percent preventable deaths and injuries.”

Although the number of drunk driving crashes nationwide has been cut in half since MADD was founded in 1980, the Vigil is an important annual event that, sadly, continues to grow. In 2019 alone, 173 people in Colorado were killed in drunk and drugged driving crashes and countless others were injured. So far in 2020, 169 people have been killed in drunk and drugged driving crashes and suspected impairment fatalities are up 13% over last year (CDOT Fatal Crash Data).

This year’s Candlelight Vigil is presented by the law firm of Bachus & Schanker, MADD Colorado’s Statewide Sponsor.

“We’re proud to join MADD Colorado in honoring and remembering victims and survivors all across the state,” said Kyle Bachus, founding partner of Bachus & Schanker. “As a personal injury law firm, we far too often see the devastating injuries and trauma to victims and their families as a result of drunk and drugged driving crashes. We’re committed to supporting those so unjustly impacted by these preventable tragedies.”

The timing of the this year’s Vigil is significant as it takes place at the start of MADD Colorado’s annual Tie One On For Safety® campaign, the organization’s signature public awareness project. Tie One On for Safety reminds Colorado drivers – this holiday season and always – to plan ahead for a safe ride if their festivities include alcohol or cannabis.

The Vigil is a chance to honor and remember those lives forever changed by impaired driving crashes and remind the public of the tragic consequences of drunk and drugged driving. In addition, 43 law enforcement agencies and Colorado State Patrol troop offices designated at least one car to patrol for impaired drivers in honor of victims and survivors of drunk and drugged driving on Friday and Saturday night. The goal is to raise awareness ahead of Thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday season.

MADD, one of the nation’s largest crime victim assistance organizations, has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge. These services include support from trained advocates and a network of peers, guidance through the judicial process, counseling referrals and more.

For more information on how to volunteer with MADD Colorado or to make a donation to provide crucial victim support services in Colorado, please visit madd.org/colorado.