Updated: Mar 15, 2019
Aside from interlock device for DUI installation, attending a Victim Impact Panel and DUI Safety classes will help you stay out of jail. I’m your criminal defense lawyer Jefre Goldtrap and here’s another free legal advice for you after your DUI arrest.
What is Victim Impact Panel?
Victim Impact Panel or VIP is a group of people who were victims, survivors, witnesses or relatives of drunk driving. They are community-based and volunteers for with the aim of creating the harmful and fatal effects of impaired driving. Their main difference with other anti-DUI campaigns is they are more personal. Here you will hear real-life stories on how alcohol changed their lives forever. VIP classes exist for more than 20 years now.
What to expect in a DUI Class VIP?
1. You will not be judged.
Though you know that you’re the offender here, VIP will not persecute you. They tell their stories in a non-judgmental way. They will not point fingers at you or blame you. They will just simply talk about their personal stories and you should listen.
2. You will hear painful but moving stories
The Victim Impact Panel can be composed of up to four people. They can be the one who’s drunk driving, the victim or the family of the victim. They will present horrifying injuries caused by a car crash, hit and run, and other accidents caused by DUI. You will hear their struggles and cries but in the end, you’ll be inspired because they survived. They survived because they need to send the message on the impact of drunk driving.
3. You can see a different perspective in DUI.
VIP speakers are not just victims. There are also rescue professionals who share their experience. This includes paramedics, firefighters or law enforcers. You will understand how it feels to respond in a terrifying scene caused by drunk driving. You will see that they are not just arresting you because they want to, but because they are protecting lives.
4. You can relate and pick up some advice from a DUI offender.
Someone who had been through DUI arrest like can also share in VIP. They may have killed or hurt someone badly because of impaired driving. You can learn from them how hard it is in prison and in your conscience to take a life because of irresponsible driving.
5. You can expect a change in you after the class.
VIP’s ultimate goal is for a DUI offender to change his behavior. Hopefully, after knowing the impact of driving under the influence, you’ll get an epiphany moment. You will not repeat your mistake ever again.
What is DUI Safety Class?
Attending a DUI class is again part of DUI arrest sentence. As a DUI expert, I advise you to go to a DUI safety class before your court appearance. It can help you lower your penalties and may bring your driving rights back. Here are the things you need to know about DUI classes.
1. It can be long-term or short-term.
Before you begin, you’ll take DUI classes assessment. This will determine how long you will attend the class after DUI arrest. Most first time DUI offenders are given a shorter program which can be completed in a day or over the weekend. But if you are a repeat offender and your Blood Alcohol Content are really high, you can expect weeks up to months of DUI classes.
2. The topics will focus on how alcohol and drugs impact driving ability.
For short-term classes, the main discussion will focus on the effects of drugs and alcohol in the body. State laws about drunk driving will also be tackled. You can also hear stories about other DUI offender’s experiences. But for severe DUI arrest, DUI safety classes are longer and more demanding. It involves strict attendance, assignments, and random alcohol or drug screening.
3. They are expensive and time-consuming.
How much do DUI classes cost? A lot! A minimum of 8 hour DUI class in Tennessee is already around $139. It can increase up to $779 for 60 hours. DUI centers will also charge you extra if you miss the class and need to re-schedule. You also need to religiously attend all of the classes or else you’ll be given parole violation or jail time.
Going to Victim Impact Panel and DUI classes after your DUI arrest can take much of your time and money. But as a DUI attorney, I strongly recommend you do this. You can always earn back your money. And I am pretty sure you don’t want to spend the rest of your time in jail.