- Berkshire District Attorney's Office
Media Contact for Berkshire District Attorney’s Office Hosts 34th Annual Vigil Of Remembrance
Andrew McKeever, Director of Communications
PITTSFIELD — The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office will host the 34th annual Vigil of Remembrance this Sunday, December 5, at 3 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Pittsfield to remember the victims of fatal drunk driving collisions.
The annual candle lighting ceremony 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 enforcing the laws aggressively.
The program features District Attorney Andrea Harrington reading the names of each of the 53 Berkshire people who died in drunk driving collisions while Massachusetts State Police Troopers light candles for remembrance.
High school students on the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office’s Youth Advisory Board will distribute programs, provide set-up and clean-up support, and read poetry during the ceremony. John Sauer will perform a musical selection.
“Our hearts continue to remain with the families and friends of those who tragically lost their lives in impaired driving collisions by coming together to honor and remember them. As we do every year, we remember how these loved ones inspire us,” District Attorney Andrea Harrington said.
“These deaths are preventable. My office has zero tolerance for impaired driving, and we work collaboratively with our law enforcement partners to aggressively enforce the impaired driving laws because we know that deterrence saves lives. We ask that community members support our efforts by not taking the wheel when drinking, using marijuana or other drugs.”
The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office, Massachusetts State Police, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving began the vigil in 1988.
Last 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 understands explicitly 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.
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.