Founded in 1980, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) is a charitable organization whose goal is to prevent drunk driving, assist those affected by drunk driving, decrease underage drinking, and advocate for greater alcohol restriction and laws. Anyone convicted of a DUI is required to attend a MADD Victims Impact Panel (VIP) as a requirement of his or her probation. Attending a MADD VIP is a sobering reminder of why drunk driving is illegal. The best way to avoid having a DUI is to not operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated or on an illegal substance. If you find yourself not sure whether you should operate a vehicle after a night of drinking than you are too impaired to drive. In a case like that ask a sober friend to drive you home, but never drive drunk or high.
MADD was founded in 1980 after a drunk driver killed a California teenage. MADD is the most prominent non-profit organization advocating for people to stop drinking and driving. MADD proposes education for anyone convicted of DUI about the consequences of drunk driving and assistance for anyone affected by a DUI. Furthermore, MADD seeks a minimum and uniform threshold for an alcohol blood level of .08% (or lower) in every state. In addition, the organization wants harsher punishments for DUI offenders and the mandatory requirement that anyone convicted of a DUI be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in their car. The ignition interlock device prevents a vehicle’s engine from being started without the operator giving a breath sample. If the sample reveals a blood alcohol level above a certain number then the vehicle will not operate.
MADD Orange County DUI victim impact panel is implemented to provide an assembly for victims of drunk driving to tell convicted offenders how the DUI impacted each of their lives. The forum is designed for victims to have an opportunity to speak without interruption from the offenders. The victims are encouraged to speak in a non-judgmental and unassuming manner so that the convicted offenders are not in a hostile environment. While the convicted offenders are given an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the forum they are not encouraged to speak while the victims are talking. Each victim speaks for fifteen to twenty minutes and each VIP has an average of three to four speakers. Often, drunk driving is referred to as an “accident;” however, MADD uses the VIP as a way to educate offenders that their actions were a crime and cannot be excused. MADD subscribes to the philosophy that to change the stigma or attitude of drunk driving as an “accident” requires using victims to confront the offenders. These panels have proven to be very successful and the idea of using victims to confront offenders has been used for addressing many other crimes.
The MADD Orange County DUI victim impact panel is mandatory for anyone convicted of a DUI offense. Once convicted of a DUI, the offender is required to contact the closest MADD office location to the county that they live in. With locations throughout California finding a MADD location is as easy as making a phone call. In Orange County, the MADD VIP location is 17772 Irvine Boulevard #103 Tustin, California. The phone number and email address for the office can be found on the MADD website: http://www.madd.org/local-offices/ca/orange-county/. After successfully attending a VIP offenders will receive a proof of attendance that must be presented to a Judge for approval. The goal of the MADD Orange County DUI victim impact panel is to expose those arrested for a DUI to the pain and grief in the people who have seen friends and family members either killed or injured due to a DUI. With this sobering panel the hope is that the DUI offender will think twice before drinking and driving.
Attending a MADD VIP is a humbling experience for those convicted of a DUI. Confronted with the victims of those affected by the crime, the DUI offender must listen in silence to their pain and misery. Hopefully the first time you attend a panel will be the last time. However, if you find yourself facing a charge for DUI contact an attorney as soon as possible. If you are located in Orange County or Los Angeles, California and are looking for a respected DUI attorney contact Christopher McCann.
About Guest Post Author:
Christopher J McCann is a DUI attorney in Orange County and he can help you with your DUI case in California. You can my website cjmdefense.com to learn more of my services or follow me on Twitter at @CJM_Law_Firm.