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Memorial Ceremony to Honor Victims of Drunk Driving
Dutchess County RID Chapter will remember Founder Josephine “Jo” Johnson

Published: 5/23/2012

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Colleen Pillus

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro invites residents to join him when the Dutchess County Chapter of Remove Intoxicated Drivers (RID) hosts its 29th annual "DWI Victims Memorial Ceremony" on Friday, May 25th at 12pm in front of the Dutchess County Office Building. The annual ceremony honors the memories of the victims of DWI crashes and heightens public awareness of alcohol related fatalities and the impact of impaired driving on the community.

This year’s ceremony will have special significance as the Dutchess County RID Chapter remembers its founder, Josephine "Jo" Johnson, who died this past December. Jo Johnson, a Town of Wappinger resident, was the victim of a drunk driver at the age of 40 and sustained severe, permanent handicaps.  She founded the Dutchess County RID Chapter in 1981 during the six week hospitalization that followed the DWI crash. Although she lived in near constant pain, she touched the hearts of so many with her compassion and dedication to the victims and families impacted by the preventable tragedies of drunk driving.   This will be the first "DWI Victims Memorial Ceremony" without Jo Johnson present.

The annual "DWI Victims Memorial Ceremony" is a powerful tribute to the victims of drunk drivers and it is hoped the event may encourage a few thoughtful individuals to think twice before venturing onto the county’s roads while under the influence.

The Dutchess County RID Chapter urges the friends and families of DWI fatality victims to share the names of loved ones for inclusion for future memorial events. Victims’ names will also be included on a DWI fatality victims’ memorial plaque displayed in the County Office Building. Send information to the Dutchess County RID Board of Directors at PO Box 565, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603.

Dutchess County RID seeks to support & enhance the efforts of the County to fight against impaired driving by being involved in activities which promote public awareness and education, and provide support for the victims and the victims’ families. RID exists solely to deter drunken driving, the binge drinking that proceeds it, and to help victims regain hope and justice in their lives.  RID provides emotional support to people who have suffered losses in DWI crashes and educates the public about the impact of abusive alcohol use on life and health.