Tree lighting dedicated to Schenectady Co. DWI victims takes place at Ellis

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Tree lightings are usually associated with the holidays, but some lights went up on a tree in Schenectady for a very serious reason.

The people are RID, or Remove Intoxicated Drivers, hosted a Safety Tree lighting event at Ellis Hospital on Monday.

The Safety Tree was first set up in 2008. At first, it starts with all white lights, but each time a life is lost to a drunk driver, the white light is replaced with a red one.

red light tree!

Three lights were added for a family of three killed in Duanesburg in September. Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney said the tragedy points out a flaw in our laws.

“If you are intoxicated and take multiple people in a car, that’s one act,” he explained. “Whereas if you took a gun and pointed it at three people, that’s three acts under our law. The shooter could get three consecutive sentences. In other words, each life taken is something the judge could give an additional and separate sentence for.”

It’s a happy day when they don’t have to add any lights on the three outside of Ellis.

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