Some DUI offenders are court ordered to attend a Victim Impact Panel as part of their probation requirements. These panels consist of victims of DUI accidents that come and share their stories of how drinking and driving impacted their lives. Many times the victims have been involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver or have lost a loved one.
From my research about Victim Impact Panels, it is important to convey the consequences of drunk driving without blaming the offenders that attend. Proponents say victim impact panels work because they assign responsibility to the behavior without attacking the person. “It’s condemning the deed, not the person, in a non-blaming manner” explains Stuart Fors, director of the department of health promotion and behavior at the University of Georgia in Athens. “If you start pointing fingers, people shut off.”
Panels also serve another purpose: catharsis for the victim. They give the victims a healing opportunity to share their stories in a meaningful way. They do not want another DUI tragedy to fall on another family so they are hoping to reduce recidivism.
MADD Victim Impact Panels were first initiated in 1982 by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). MADD is a nonprofit organization in the United States that seeks to stop drunk driving, support those affected by drunk driving, prevent underage drinking, and overall push for stricter alcohol policy. The Irving, Texas–based organization was founded in 1980 in California by Candice Lightner after her 13-year-old daughter was killed by a drunk driver.
North Buckhead Driving and DUI School is now offering a monthly Victim Impact Panel. Our next one is December 12th from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm. Please call us at 678-510-2099 or sign up on-line at www.Northbuckheaddrivingandduischool.com to reserve a seat.
We here at North Buckhead Driving and DUI School are trying to make the roads a little safer. We are a leading Atlanta DUI School with weekly DUI / Risk Reduction Classes as well as Atlanta Defensive Driving Classes. You can sign up by calling our office at (678) 510-2099 or by visiting our website at http://www.northbuckheaddrivingandduischool.com/ and using our secure registration system.
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