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Maryland Holds Memorial For DUI Victims

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Pat Warren joined the Eyewitness News team in 1992. Pat came to WJZ...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A season of sadness. The families of Marylanders killed by drunk drivers gather for the state’s annual memorial to the victims.

Political reporter Pat Warren explains the state saw an increase in fatalities last year.

Remembering the victims of drunk drivers.

Corporal Courtney Brooks was killed on duty on New Year’s Eve 2007. He wasn’t killed by a man with a gun but by a woman whose weapon was alcohol and an automobile. It changed his daughter’s life.

“When you go and you go party, you need to think about the people you may injure, the families that may hurt and suffer because of it,” said Casey Brooks.

“My dad lasted one week and died 10 minutes of midnight and midnight was Thanksgiving,” said Susan Shah Blake.

Thirty-six percent of traffic fatalities in Maryland in 2010 were alcohol-related.

“Alisa was the only fatality. She was sitting behind the driver,” said Paula Celentano. “She wasn’t big enough to stop a truck.”

Law enforcement and education make a difference but are still not enough to stop some drivers from driving drunk.

“It’s tens and hundreds of lives that are being hurt. Families are ruined by that careless conduct,” said Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown.

The greatest gift Marylanders can give each other this holiday season is to make sure everybody gets through it safely.

In 2010, 177 people were killed in alcohol-related accidents. That’s four more than in 2009.

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