DUI Victim Tree Has First Red Bulbs Of The Season

2 killed & 28 injured in impaired driving related crashes

Dover – This holiday season should be filled with joy and happiness but unfortunately, nearly 30 families have already experienced the heart ache of learning that their loved ones have been injured or killed in an impaired driving related crash.  According to police reports, since the Thanksgiving holiday, there have been 33 impaired driving related crashes that resulted in twenty (28) persons injured and two (2) persons killed.  Subsequently, 28 green light bulbs and 2 red light bulbs will be added to the DUI Victims Trees located in Beebe Hospital, Kent General Hospital, A.I. Dupont Hospital, Dover Downs employee cafeteria, and online at www.DUIRealTime.com/SafeHolidays . These will be the first colored bulbs placed on the trees since the start of the Safe Family Holiday Campaign which began on November 21st.

The DUI Victims Tree project memorializes impaired driving related deaths and injuries that occur during the campaign period by placing colored light bulbs on the tree to represent each victim.  Each red bulb on the tree symbolizes someone killed in an impaired driving related crash in Delaware between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.  Each green light bulb symbolizes someone injured in an impaired driving crash.  Last year, two people were killed and 27 injured in these crashes in Delaware during the holiday season.

DUI saturation patrols will continue throughout the entire holiday season and will supplement already scheduled Checkpoint Strikeforce DUI Checkpoints.  Last weekend 8 people were arrested for DUI as part of Checkpoint Strikeforce.  This brings the total campaign DUI arrests to 305, however there have been 4,511 DUI arrest made in Delaware since January 1st.

There is one checkpoint scheduled to occur this weekend as follows:

Friday December 7th Newport (New Castle County DUI Task Force)- checkpoint

Currently, 42 (or 40%) of the 106 people killed in Delaware traffic deaths since January 1st have been alcohol-related. You can prevent alcohol-related crashes by being a HERO – Be a Designated Driver, or make sure you appoint one before you go out for the evening if you plan to drink alcohol.

For more information on these or any of our other campaign efforts follow us on Twitter @DEHighwaySafe, visit our website for updates at www.ohs.delaware.gov, www.DUIRealTime.com/SafeHolidays or Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ArriveAliveDE.

Traffic Safety News – Safe Family Holiday

Could the holidays get any busier?  Between your regular work schedule, family commitments and holiday gatherings – who has time to think about safe driving? You do!  OHS would like to remind everyone that safe driving should never take a holiday.

What you need to know

This year marks the 14th anniversary of the Office of Highway Safety’s Safe Family Holiday campaign, which combines high visibility enforcement and awareness activities.  During this time OHS teams up with the corporate community, hospitals, state agencies and police across the state to promote traffic safety. Did you know…

  • During  the Safe Family Holiday campaign last year, two people were killed in  alcohol-related crashes and another 27 people were injured.
  • In 2011, on average, 30 people were arrested for DUI each week during  sobriety checkpoints and patrols between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
  • Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day last year, aggressive driving behaviors  caused 566 crashes.  These may include speeding, failure to yield,  and ignoring stop signs/red lights.
  • Last year, more than half of the persons killed in crashes on Delaware roads were not wearing their seatbelt.

What you can do

It seems that everyone on the road is in a rush.  Maybe even you.  It is worth the time it takes to be calm and in control while you are behind the wheel this holiday. Remember to:

  • Avoid Distractions. It is hard to be calm and in control when you are distracted. Pre-set the radio to your favorite channel.  Turn the smartphone off and put it away. Keep both hands on the wheel, eyes on the road, and your mind on the task of driving.
  • Slow Down and Respect the Sign. Regardless of how others are driving, remain in control of your vehicle.  Obey the posted speed limit signs on the roadway and stop fully at stop signs. If you encounter an aggressive driver, simply remain calm and pull out of the way.
  • Drive Sober. The best way to be in control while driving is to be alcohol-free. Always choose a designated driver before the party begins, or volunteer to be the sober driver for family and friends.
  • Buckle Up. The best way to stay in control of your vehicle is to be properly restrained in the event of a crash. Every trip. Every time. Everyone in the vehicle.


Drive Safe.  Arrive Alive DE.

This message is being sent to you by the Office of Highway Safety, who asks you to drive safely at all times.  For more information on this and other traffic safety programs, go to www.ohs.delaware.gov.

OHS Launches 14th Annual Safe Family Holiday Campaign Thanksgiving Week

Enforcement focus is on DUI, Aggressive Driving, and Seat Belts.

Dover – Once again thousands of Delawareans will be hitting the road to visit family and friends and even do some after Thanksgiving shopping.  The Office of Highway Safety wants to remind motorists as they travel this holiday season to buckle up, practice patience behind the wheel, and if partaking in some holiday ‘spirits’ use a designated driver because Delaware law enforcement will be on high alert to make sure you arrive safely to your destination.

Tuesday November 20th will begin the Delaware Office of Highway Safety’s 14th annual Safe Family Holiday Campaign.  Safe Family Holiday enforcement activities over the next six weeks will include 22 law enforcement agencies statewide conducting overtime patrols focusing on aggressive & impaired driving, and seat belt use.

Overtime aggressive driving enforcement will run November 20th through December 1st and seat belt enforcement begins December 2nd and runs through December 15th.  The DUI saturation patrols will begin November 21st and will run through the entire holiday season and will supplement already scheduled Checkpoint Strikeforce DUI checkpoints.

There are three DUI checkpoints scheduled for the Thanksgiving holiday as follows:

Wednesday Nov. 21st Wilmington (New Castle County DUI Task Force)- Checkpoint

Friday Nov. 23rd     Rehoboth Beach (DSP)- Checkpoint

Saturday Nov. 24th Newark (DSP)- Checkpoint

Since January 1st of this year, 100 people have lost their lives on Delaware roadways in 95 fatal traffic crashes, compared to 92 people killed in 87 fatal traffic crashes this time last year.  Aggressive driving behaviors, including speeding, running stop signs, and not granting right of way, have contributed to 34% of the fatal traffic crashes so far this year. To date alcohol consumption has been involved in 38% of the traffic deaths, and 33% of vehicle occupant fatalities were individuals not wearing their seat belts.

Over the last decade, several public awareness activities have become Safe Family Holiday traditions including the OHS “Mocktail” party and the DUI Tree project.  “Mocktails” are non-alcoholic cocktail parties, where safety information, responsible party hosting tips, and samples of “smart” party foods will be provided for employees.  OHS first Mocktail event this holiday season was held at State Farm Insurance in Lewes and more will be held with Seiberlich Trane, AI Dupont Hospital, Christiana Hospital, Beebe Medical Center, and Dover Downs.

The DUI Tree memorializes alcohol-related deaths and injuries during the campaign period by placing colored light bulbs on the tree to represent each victim.  There are four DUI Trees and this year they will have a permanent home with some of the highway safety corporate partners.  The trees will be set up the week of Thanksgiving at Kent General Hospital in Dover, Beebe Medical Center in Lewes, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, and A.I. DuPont Hospital in Wilmington.  New this year OHS has created a virtual DUI Tree for the public at www.DUIRealTime.com/Safe-Holidays. Last year, 2 people were killed and 27 were injured in alcohol-related crashes in Delaware during the holiday season.

The Safe Family Holiday Campaign, which runs from Thanksgiving Eve to New Year’s Day, in conjunction with the Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign, is OHS’ major traffic safety initiative for the holiday season.  It includes a combination of high visibility enforcement, public awareness activities, and media messaging aimed at stopping impaired and other dangerous drivers.

For more information on these or any of our other Safe Family Holiday campaign efforts follow us on Twitter @DEHighwaySafe, visit our website for updates at www.ohs.delaware.gov, www.DUIRealTime.com/Safe-Holidays or Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ArriveAliveDE.