DWI Consequences–The Victim Impact Panel

By Bo Kalabus
24-hour Jail Release: 214-402-4364

If you have been convicted of DWI and are placed on probation, you will have conditions of probation you will have to complete to be successful while on probation. As part of the probation, you will discover that you have to pay a fine, pay court costs, make a small donation to your local crime stoppers fund-around $25-$30, which are normal conditions for most every type of criminal case probation. In addition to these conditions, DWI probation has a few special conditions required by law such as, taking a DWI education class, a substance abuse evaluation, depending on the facts of your case perhaps a deep lung device will be required to be placed on your vehicle, and take a victim impact panel class (VIP).

I get a lot of questions regarding the VIP class, so here is the down low. The VIP is an awareness program for drivers that have been convicted of DWI. Anyone can attend the VIP, but it is mandatory for those who have been convicted of DWI. The “Panel” is a presentation by those who have lost family members or friends to drunk/intoxicated drivers. The presentation is not supposed to be confrontational or judgmental in nature. However, the class is a reality check to those attending as the Panel presenters relate how their own lives have been changed forever by the actions of drunk drivers. The Panel focuses on real life stories of trauma, emotional/physical suffering/pain, financial loss, anger, and frustration—emotions commonly experienced by innocent victims following an alcohol or drug related vehicle wreck.

The class serves two missions: 1) it benefits the attendees in that it gives them a moment of pause to consider the severe consequences of driving while intoxicated and may be the first step to recognizing a possible addiction the person may have and getting help; and 2) it benefits the victims in that telling their stories and sharing their stories may help their healing process and hopefully experience something positive from their devastating experience.

The VIP takes about 2.5 hours to complete and costs about $30.

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