The Saratoga County Victim Impact Panel (VIP) is a volunteer group of speakers who participate in presentations about the life altering consequences of alcohol and/or drug impaired driving.  Local courts order DWI offenders to attend these presentations to better their understanding of such consequences and promote better decision-making in the future.  These programs are held on a monthly basis, either in Clifton Park or Ballston Spa.

 The Prevention Council is looking for speakers who are willing to share their stories of how impaired driving affected them or their loved ones, especially from these perspectives:

·      DWI Survivors tell of the grief and painful changes they endure as the result of losing a family member or friend in a DWI crash.

·      DWI Victims describe the injuries they suffered, and continue to endure, from a DWI crash.

 These panels give victims a healing opportunity to share their stories in a meaningful way. At a VIP, victims and survivors of substance impaired driving crashes (or others impacted by the crime, such as law enforcement and first responders) speak briefly about the crash in which they were injured and/or in which a loved one was killed or injured, and how it impacts their lives. They do not blame or judge, they simply tell their stories, describing how their lives and the lives of their families and friends were affected by the crash.
 VIP programs help DWI offenders realize the lasting and long-term effect of their crime by giving a name and a face to the pain caused by impaired driving.  Participants regularly comment on how they have come to understand the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs by listening to speakers’ stories.  The overall goal is to make our community roads safer for everyone.
 If you have an interest in sharing your story, The Prevention Council would like to hear from you.  All prospective speakers spend some time with VIP program coordinators to review their message and determine its appropriateness for the audience.  Once this process is complete speakers can choose when they would like to speak.
 To learn more please contact Jennifer Wood at the Prevention Council at 581-1230 ext. 3610