Woman uses Halloween to bring awareness to drunk driving

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NORTH TROY, Vt. (WCAX) -- Last year, police say there were over 2,000 DUI arrests throughout the state of Vermont, which equals to about 40 arrests a week.

Police say that average number can double during Halloween weekend.

"Halloween's all about scary and gruesomeness," says North Troy, Vt. resident Amanda Elliot, about her favorite holiday.

Each year, Elliott describes her lawn covered in skeletons and ghosts, but this year she chose a different theme. A blood splattered car, severed limbs and empty beer cans depict a scene, Elliott says is all too real.

"I'm just trying to get a good message out there," says Elliot, "This could all very well happen but more gruesome and to someone you love."

Elliot hopes the hundreds of drivers who pass her home see her gory scene and think twice before getting behind the wheel intoxicated.

But for Nathan Geoffory, who lives just down and the road, all this reminds him of darker times.

"It looked like an experience that I have already been through so I was kind of uncomfortable about the whole situation," says Geoffory.

While driving home from Jay Peak, Geoffory says he passed out intoxicated behind the wheel, and crashed into a guard rail. He says luckily, no one else was injured.

"I can see the intention of the purpose he was trying to send out," says Geoffory, "but it brings back bad memories for some people."

Elliott says it is a controversial message and some have taken their disapproval to another level by taking down her decorations or smashing them. The 22-year-old says the deadly scene reminds her of hard times, too. Within the six years she's lived in North Troy, she recalls nearly 20 DUI-related crashes, some of which took the lives of high school classmates.

"I've felt that pain and it's just hard to deal with," says Elliot.

With her decorations, she's hoping to prevent others from feeling that same pain, whether you're behind the wheel or in front of it. Even though her things have been torn down, Elliott says it's still an important message and it won't prevent her considering a similar display for next year.

Read the original version of this article at wcax.com.