When a driver is convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in one of the four courthouses in Orange County, they will be required to register for a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Victim Impact Panel with the Alcohol Liaison Office in the courthouse where they were convicted of DUI.
The VIP program was designed to help DUI offenders learn about the long-term effects of driving under the influence, and help them:
- Develop an empathy for DUI victims
- Understand the tragedy of drunk driving
- Change their thinking and behavior
- Prevent driving under the influence in the future
These panels give the victims of drunk driving the opportunity to share their stories with those convicted of DUI, and help them understand the real-life consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
At a VIP, both victims and survivors of impaired driving crashes (or others who have been impacted by the crime, such as police and first responders) speak about the crash that they were involved in, or that their oved one was injured or killed, and how it impacted their lives.
Victims are not at the panel to place blame or judge, they are simply there to share their personal stories, and describe how their lives and the lives of their friends and family were affected by the crash.
Victims Speak Out About Their DUI Crash
MAAD believes that drunk and drugged drivers need to hear what happens to the victims of DUI crashes, and the VIP is the preferred tool for accomplishing this goal.
With the Victim Impact Panel, two or three victims speak about the DUI collision that they were injured in, or that a loved one was injured or killed in.
They go into detail as to how that crash has impacted their lives, and the long-term effects. Victims however, do not speak in front of groups where their own offenders may be present.
During the panel presentation, there is no interaction between the victims and the offenders, but everyone in the audience is invited to talk to the speakers once the program is over.
Judges and probation officers require that convicted DUI offenders attend a Victim Impact Panel, as they see the VIP as a key element of an offender’s sentence. While the panel does not replace traditional sentencing, it does add a thought-provoking component to the mix.
If you are facing DUI charges, call the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. to meet with an experienced Orange County DUI defense lawyer!