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Candles rest on a table for the annual Mothers Against Drunk Driving candlelight vigil on in 2014. Mothers Against Drunk Driving in South Dakota will host a candlelight vigil today in Rapid City.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving in South Dakota will host a candlelight vigil today in Rapid City.

Connie Hobbs, in her first year as South Dakota's MADD director, said the event begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in downtown Rapid City at 717 Quincy St.

MADD will honor law enforcement by recognizing a highway patrolman and two police officers from the Rapid City and Sturgis police departments. Poems will be read, and votives lit. Hobbs will roll a slide presentation honoring victims of drunken driving, and a group of musicians from Stevens High School will perform.

Ken Kirk from Kirk Funeral Home also will speak.

"We want a safe community over the holidays," Hobbs said. "Lots of holiday parties going on, and we just ask that people are responsible."

From 2003 to 2012, over 500 South Dakotans were killed by drunk drivers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

During December, the South Dakota Office of Highway Safety intends to hold sobriety checkpoints at 19 sites in 15 counties, including Butte, Meade and Pennington.

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Contact Christopher Vondracek at Christopher.Vondracek@rapidcityjournal.com.

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Education reporter