The DUI Memorial Sign Program is a grass roots program, borne from an idea of people who had lost family members in collisions caused by drunk driving. WSDOT has embraced the program as a way to join together with citizens of this state in the ongoing efforts to combat Driving Under the Influence.
The standard sign features the words "Please Don't Drink And Drive" below which is a plaque displaying the victim's name. Along non-interstate highways, the signs are placed near the scene of the collision, one sign for each direction of travel. For the Interstate system, one sign can be installed along the on ramp nearest to the collision scene, in the direction of travel that the collision occurred.
The Department of Transportation has no jurisdiction on county roads or city streets, and thus, cannot provide signs along those roadway systems. However, some local agencies have implemented similar programs, and the Department can provide the name and phone number of a contact person for those agencies having similar programs.
Signs can be installed if the driver causing the collision was convicted of vehicular homicide because of DUI, under RCW 46.61.520, or was fatally injured and shown to be DUI based on toxicology reports.
The sponsors pay for the signs. The total sign costs are $500 for Interstate highway on ramps, $750 for two lane highways, and $950 for non-interstate four lane highways. This cost includes sign fabrication and installation by WSDOT crews.
How to Request DUI Victim Memorial Signs
To initiate the process, a letter requesting participation in the DUI Victim Memorial Sign Program may be sent to:
PO Box 47344
Olympia, WA 98504-7344
In this letter, the requester needs to identify the name of the deceased and include discussion about their relationship to that person. Letters of request from friends need to include a note from the immediate family that okays the sign installation and authorizes the friend to act on the family's behalf.
The letter also needs to discuss the date the collision occurred, the state highway number and approximate location, and how alcohol or other drugs, as defined by RCW 46.61.502, contributed to the collision. Because signs may be installed only if the driver causing the collision was convicted of vehicular homicide because of DUI, under RCW 46.61.520(1)(a), or was fatally injured and shown to be DUI based on blood toxicology reports, the letter also needs to include discussion about the disposition of those aspects.
After receipt of the initiating letter, the Department reviews the details and provides the requester with an invoice and a letter. The letter has a space for the requester to sign, and serves as a formal agreement between the department and the requester. After signing the agreement letter and returning it to the Department with payment, the requester is provided his/her copy together with notification that the signs have been ordered. Sign fabrication and installation is accomplished by the department forces, and normally takes 45 to 60 days to complete once the sign order is placed.
At most locations, the Department can provide for a few family members and close friends to be present when the signs are installed. After the signs are ordered, an employee of the Department's regional office will contact the requester to discuss optional days and times for installing the signs.
RCW 46.61.520 Vehicular homicide
(1) When death of any person ensues within three years as a proximate result of injury proximately caused by the driving of any vehicle by any person, the driver is guilty of vehicular homicide if the driver was operating a motor vehicle
(a) While under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, as defined by RCW 46.61.502