In Washington State, A Memorial to DUI Victims

It was a sad day for the town of Everett, Washington: a week ago 13 new names were unveiled on a wall that stands on a lawn in McCullum Park, just south of the town. The names were of people who had died at the hands of impaired drivers.

The Snohomish County DUI Victims Memorial Wall, created and maintained by the Snohomish County DUI Target Zero Task Force, serves as a reminder to all that the consequences of drunk and drugged driving are severe and lasting. Some 125 victims have now been given a remembrance on the wall. The memorial tiles bear both the birth and death dates of the victims, revealing that many died shockingly young; there are teenagers, children and even a baby among the victims.

It does not cost anything to place a name on the wall: the Snohomish County Everett District Court funds the program. However, to be included the name must be of a person who is a present or past resident of the county and who was the victim of an alcohol- or drug-related traffic that was not his or her own fault. The named victim cannot be the impaired driver.

The aim of the DUI Target Zero Task Force, as its name implies, is to reduce the number of drunk driving deaths to zero. The goal date is 2030. The wall is part of the effort to rally the community around the goal.