“Putting Convicted Offenders of DWI and DWAI Face-To-Face with Those Who Have Experienced the Tragedy First Hand”

Everyone knows that driving while intoxicated or under the influence of a drug is a crime that can lead to potential tragedy. Yet each day hundreds of people do it anyway. The purpose of the Victim Impact Panels is to put convicted offenders face-to-face with those who have experienced this tragedy first hand, either because of severe personal injuries or the death of a family member.

While the Prevention Council administers this program, it is a collaboration with the Saratoga County Youth Bureau, the Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office, local justice courts, and law enforcement agencies including the NYS Police and the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department.

Speakers at each panel include two victims of DWI, the Assistant District Attorney who prosecutes DWIs, a local law enforcement officer, and a victim advocate or other professional.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Panels are held on the second Tuesday of each month except during February and  August. All panels begin promptly at 7:00 p.m. and run between 1.5 to 2 hours.

Panels for January, March, May, September, and November take place at:
Cornell Cooperative Extension
50 West High Street
Ballston Spa NY 12020

Panels for April, June, July, October, and December take place at:
Clifton Park Town Court
5 Municipal Plaza
Clifton Park NY  12065

Directions to the Clifton Park Town Court: take Northway exit 9 West. Proceed west on route 146 and turn left at the traffic light on Maxwell Road (approximately .2 of a mile from the Northway). Turn right into the first driveway. The entrances to the court are well marked at both the front and rear of the building.

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Call 581-1230 or 884-4180 to get information.

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Yes. Please call the Saratoga County Youth Bureau at 884-4180.

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No.  Visitors are welcome, but please call the Saratoga County Youth Bureau to make sure space is available.  Visitors may  be breathalyzed and will not be admitted if they have used alcohol or illicit drugs.

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There is $25 fee to sign up. Payment arrangements should be made through the Saratoga County Youth Bureau, at 884-4180.

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Contact Patty Kilgore at 518-581-1230 ext. 3628, or email office@preventioncouncil.org

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Offenders who participate in Victim Impact Panels are asked to fill out evaluation forms. Here are some examples of their comments:

“What I heard tonight was difficult for me to sit through. I never thought of other people’s feelings like how bad they are still hurting even 30 something years later. I will never drink and drive again and I will try to stop people (family, friends) from making the same mistake I did.”

“I have driven drunk many times, but after this I don’t think I will be doing it again.”

“Because of the stories from tonight I will do everything I can to stop not only myself but anyone I know from driving after drinking.”

“Very concise, well done, very brave.”

“Very good presentation. Officer’s information about fines, jail time, etc. was priceless. I attend AA meetings and have heard many difficult stories like the ones the victims told. Never realized the severity of a DWI though.”