MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Family and friends who’ve lost loved ones in drunken driving crashes gathered Sunday in Minneapolis for a special remembrance.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) organized the vigil held at the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis. Candles were lit to represent those whose lives were cut short.

The group says this time of year is about families coming together.

“This is a hard time of year for people who have lost someone. Holidays are typically a time of celebration and we have a lot of people who are facing an empty chair at their table this holiday season,” Jennifer Freeburg of MADD said.

The group says 81 people were killed in drunken driving crashes last year in Minnesota and another 2,300 were injured. By raising awareness, the group hopes it can reduce the number of unnecessary deaths.

MADD wants to remind everyone to designate a driver when out drinking.

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