When you are found to be driving under the influence, it can negatively affect the people you came into contact with on that drive as well. With the potential to seriously injure or kill another person in mind, most judges will require a driver to attend a victim impact panel following a DUI conviction. Many courts in Bradenton also assign reckless drivers and habitual traffic offenders this unique educational program as part of their punishment. Eye opening to say the least, the purpose of the victim impact panel is to introduce the driver to the realities of drunk driving and ultimately modify his or her negative driving behavior.
Placing a unique perspective on drunk driving, courts in Bradenton and throughout the United States are increasingly assigning attendance as part of a driving under the influence punishment.
Let’s face it—coping with the stress of a DUI can be emotionally exhausting. Attending a victim impact panel (although also emotionally exhausting) will hopefully ensure that first time offenders do not become second and third time offenders. And because attendance is mandatory, there are also penalties for failing to complete a victim impact panel within the specified time. Individuals have the ability to sign up for the panel online and find a meeting nearby.
The victim impact panel consists of the following basic elements:
- Education: The education portion of the panel presents powerful financial, statistical and emotional literature on the role drunk driving plays in the larger community.
- Audio Visual Media: Images are a powerful thing. Various videos are presented to further point out the realities of how irresponsible driving can impact others. It is often during this portion that the facilitator will take a look at current events dealing with driving under the influence and reckless driving.
- Panel Discussion: In many instances, the most difficult part of the panel is the actual discussion of how drunk driving has changed victim’s lives. Comprised of individuals that have suffered serious injuries as the result of a drunk driver as well as individuals that have lost family members to an accident, the discussion is intended to be educational rather than confrontational in nature.
- Facilitator Discussion: The end of the panel gives attendees a chance to discuss the information that was presented and ask questions pertaining to drunk driving.
The attorneys at Finebloom & Haenel P.A. know the emotional toll a DUI can take on an individual as well as their friends and families. For many, attending a victim impact panel is ultimately a very positive and enriching experience although it may simply seem part of a larger punishment at first. In fact, many people go back for another panel or decide to help the program in other ways. Hiring an attorney can help relieve some of the stress associated with a DUI and make sure the process does not take longer than necessary. If you or a loved one needs help with a recent DUI, call the law office of Finebloom & Haenel P.A. for a free consultation today.