Annapolis DUI Victim Impact Panel
A victim impact panel is a group of people affected by DUI, which are held throughout the state of Maryland. They are victims, drivers, families of victims, and people who lost loved ones due to someone drunk driving. First responders are sometimes on the panel, as well as medics and doctors.
A judge orders someone charged with an Annapolis DUI charge to attend one of these panels. They are usually put on by the Mothers Against Drunk Driving and are held at a local fire station or local shock trauma hospital. The goal is to show someone just how dangerous it can be when a DUI related accident occurs.
Role of the Victim Impact Panel
The person charged with a DUI is assigned to an Annapolis victim impact panel by a judge as part of their probation conditions. These panels have no role in the case, and solely serves as one of the conditions of probation.
The panel takes place in a single evening and lasts anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours. However, they can run longer depending on the size of the class and how much participation there is. They are also held on weekends, one or two times throughout the month. Generally, they are assigned, but if a person cannot make that date, their agent or the court can give them the opportunity to attend others. Some counties will give a person a list and tell the person that they must complete one of them within the next six months.
Group activities are some of the most common elements of an Annapolis victim impact panel. This is usually an activity that everyone is aware of which is to sit and talk, listen to each other, and go over the experiences that they have. A good addiction counseling center will give a person an opportunity to talk about their struggles and issues. Some people in these programs continue to attend them for a long time, even after they are required to do so. On the other hand, some people are in there for a short period of time. For example, that individual may have just received a DUI and is getting experience from others who have been through this process.
A DUI can be incredibly stressful. Many people may believe that they are on their own after being charged with a DUI, but they are not. On an Annapolis victim impact panel, a person can find friends, compassion, an open ear, and someone who is willing to talk to them.
Benefits of Attending
Any individual charged should receive an assessment, and be assigned to a class regardless of whether they take the case to trial or not. The individual will want to have the proof that they participated in these panels before walking into court. It may be hard to attend an alcohol education program, but when an individual realizes that they should attend themselves, they can sometimes enjoy the experience. An Annapolis victim impact panel can help an individual cope with things better than they may have without it. Someone attending one of these programs can create life-long skills that can assist them in bettering their life in the future.