On the eve of what would have been Kimberly Smith Ames 45th birthday, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced today that the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, in conjunction with the Ocean County Traffic Safety Officer’s Association, is re-launching a Driving While Intoxicated awareness campaign featuring the former Beachwood resident.
Kimberly Smith Ames was a 23 year-old newlywed, three months pregnant with her first child, when she was tragically killed by a drunk driver on October 7, 1998 in her hometown of Beachwood. In the aftermath of her tragic death, Kimberly Smith Ames photo became part a state-wide DWI awareness campaign featuring billboards and signs posted in local stores. Prosecutor Billhimer is proud to re-introduce Kimberly Smith Ames and her story to a new generation. The new billboards were created by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office in conjunction with the Ocean County Traffic Safety Officer’s Association and the Smith family. The billboards will be placed throughout Ocean County. Tomorrow, July 28th, would have been Kimberly’s 45th birthday and her unborn child would have been 21 years-old.
“Growing up in Ocean County, I was friends with Kimberly’s older brother and sister. I remember vividly the pain and sorrow her family went through dealing with the loss of Kimberly and her unborn baby. To this day the family is still grieving. It was my honor to reconnect with the Smith family and to have their full support with the re-launching of this campaign. I hope that people will see Kimberly’s face and think twice about getting behind the wheel when they are impaired,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “Educating new drivers and the general public about the dangers of impaired driving is always a priority. Enforcement is a priority as wee and my office will continue to work with our local law enforcement partners to focus on targeted enforcement to prevent impaired driving,” Prosecutor Billhimer added.
The Ocean County Traffic Safety Officer’s Association presents the Kimberly Smith Ames DWI Prevention Award every year to a police officer that proactively enforces DWI laws in Ocean County. The purpose of this award is to increase public awareness of the commitment and determination dedicated by police officers within Ocean County towards the education and prevention of Driving While Intoxicated offenses and acknowledging officers who have demonstrated such commitment.