About DWI Victim Impact Panels
A DWI Panel is a forum where victims of drunken driving accidents proportion their stories with audiences composed of DWI offenders and other interested community members.
The stories told by the victims of DWI accidents are often quite emotional. Some presenters will tell of the loss of a close family member such as a son, daughter, brother or sister in a DWI related accident. Some presenters will describe injures to themselves caused by the impaired driving of others. Some will have a short video presentation to join their story, in addition to pictures of their lost family member.
The court requires DWI offenders to attend the panel so that they can hear firsthand the devastating effects of impaired driving on their community. It is very important to know that these panels are not meant to be judgmental or confrontational. They are simply there to help the DWI offender understand the real life consequences of drinking and driving. Presenters do not place blame on the audience or make accusations. They tell their stores with the sincere hope that audience members will be inspired to never drink and excursion again.
So if you are ordered to attend a panel, the only thing you need to do to receive credit for attending is to listen politely to the speakers and give them your complete attention. You will not be speaking, but instead you will be listening. While listening to the panel speakers, it is often helpful to mirror on your own experience with drinking and driving. This will help you get the most out of attending a panel. At the end of the panel presentation, attendees are asked to fill out a short anonymous survey to give feedback to the presenters.
If you are required to attend a DWI panel, it is very important to arrive on time, before the start of the panel. Panels do not allow late entry and will not give credit for uncompletely attendance. The typical length of a panel is 1-2 hours, and admission costs can range from $20 to $60 depending and panel operator. Most panels will also allow you to bring a guest without an admission charge, but before going check with the panel operator to be sure. After completion, the panel operator will typically inform the court that you have successfully completed this requirement, but it’s always a good idea to request an additional receipt for your own records.
A DWI is not the end of the world. Everyone makes mistakes. Attending a DWI panel can be an important step in your recovery. It will help you to see the real life consequences of drinking and driving and inspire you to stop drinking and driving.