Convicted DUI / DWI drivers typically face traditional court punishment such as jail sentences, fines, and license suspensions. However, courts are increasingly seeking to address the underlying alcohol issues of drunk drivers through sentencing alternatives. One available alternative is participation in a Victim Impact Program offered by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD).
The MADD Victim Impact Program consists of regular meetings between convicted DUI offenders and individuals whose lives have been affected by drunk drivers. Sentencing alternatives such as the MADD Victim Impact Program are designed to help, rather than punish, DUI offenders. MADD members communicate the impact drunk driving has had on their lives with the goal of educating drunk drivers of the effects of their actions on others.
The meetings are typically organized as panel discussions that feature three or more MADD members telling their stories. The discussions are often moderated by a police officer. When time permits, convicted drunk drivers may also share their stories.
Participation in the MADD Victim Impact Program is typically set as a condition of probation. If the DUI offender fails to participate in the program, probation is violated, and the driver likely will go to jail.
Sentencing alternatives such as the MADD Victim Impact Program can be a viable alternative to a jail sentence for a convicted drunk driver. A qualified California DUI / DWI attorney can determine whether sentencing alternatives are available in individual cases.