LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM)- Independence Day is coming up and it’s the first big holiday since the end of COVID restrictions and law enforcement wants to make sure everyone has fun in a responsible way.
The DUI Victims Moving Memorial lists the names of Pennsylvanians who lost their lives due to impaired driving. Missy Sweitzer’s son is among the names on the wall. Her son, Zachary was killed in 2008 on I-83 by an underage impaired driver.
“It’s been 12 years, six months, and 26 days since I’ve heard my son’s voice,” Missy Switzer, Traffic Safety Specialist, Center for Traffic Safety, said.
Zachary was a firefighter for Loganville Volunteer Fire Company and looked up to his chief, Rodney Miller.
“He modeled himself after Rodney,” Sweitzer said.
Four and a half years later, Rodney himself was killed by a repeat DUI offender while responding to a crash.
“We never thought we would be in these shoes, but here we are,” Paul Miller, Rodney’s father, said.
Law enforcement wants to make sure another family doesn’t have to go through the pain of losing a loved one, so they’ll be targeting impaired drivers over the next two weeks.
‘These efforts will be conducted at times and places where DUI crashes and DUI arrests are most likely to occur based on statistical data,” Kelly Osborne, Master Trooper, Pennsylvania State Police Troop J, said.
This 4th of July will be the first big holiday with no restrictions at bars and restaurants.
“We want people to support businesses, go out, have fun, take care of the servers, tip the servers, tip the bartenders, have a good time, but we want it done responsibly,” Leo Hegarty, PA DUI Association, said.
The impaired driving awareness campaign runs until July 4, but advocates and law enforcement say each day is a chance to save a life and drive sober.