- Berkshire District Attorney's Office
Media Contact for Berkshire DA’s Office Holds Virtual Ceremony To Remember and Honor Those Who Lost Their Lives in Drunk Driving Crashes
Andy McKeever, Director of Communications
BERKSHIRE COUNTY — The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office is premiering a virtual vigil to remember those who lost their lives in drunk driving crashes on Sunday, December 6 at 3 p.m.
The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office, Massachusetts State Police, and MADD began the vigil in 1988.
The longstanding tradition provides families an opportunity to reflect and honor their loved ones, spread awareness to deter others from driving under the influence, and reconfirm law enforcement’s commitment to aggressively enforcing the laws.
“We hold this annual event because it is important to remember the good times we shared with those we loved. These people loved us and inspired us and we honor them. We are thankful for the families who come to this every year to honor their loved ones and raise their voice to help deter others,” District Attorney Andrea Harrington said.
“Sadly, 53 people in Berkshire County died because of drunk driving. These are preventable deaths.”
The program includes District Attorney Andrea Harrington reading each name while Massachusetts State Police Troopers light candles for remembrance, poetry from high school students on the Office’s Youth Advisory Board, and the Grace Notes from Miss Halls School performing songs.
The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office traditionally holds the event in person but chose instead to hold it virtually because of the pandemic. The video will be released on the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office’s social media platforms – Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube – and are making copies of the file available to the families for download, or on a DVD or a flash drive upon request.
This year the District Attorney’s Office won a $166,254 grant from the Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance to assign a victim witness advocate to specialize in motor vehicle homicide cases. The advocate specifically understands the unique trauma motor vehicle homicide cases pose to families and loved ones, helps them navigate the court process, and connects them with community services.
The office treats victims with dignity, respect, and compassion during a difficult time in their lives and provides them a meaningful voice in the judicial process.
Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington’s office serves all 32 cities and towns in Berkshire County. The office represents the Commonwealth in more than 7,500 criminal cases per year in Berkshire Superior Court, three district courts, three juvenile courts, Massachusetts Appeals Court, and Supreme Judicial Court. The office works closely with the State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office, the Berkshire Law Enforcement Task Force, and collaborates with local police departments across the county. A dedicated staff of more than 50 prioritizes public safety, empowering victims and witnesses through services and support, and building a safe community for everyone and especially the most vulnerable.