Executive Director at Assessment and Treatment Associates, Steve Uhrich joins the DUI Q&A studios team to explain - What is an Alcohol Drug Information School or DUI Victim's Panel? An Alcohol Drug Information School is an eight-hour class intended to educate people and give them the toolbox to make better decisions regarding their drinking habits. A Victim's Panel gives people the opportunity to hear from others who have been drastically affected by drinking and driving. The Victim's Panel is not meant to shame those who have drunk drove, but to help them learn what consequences drinking and driving could have.
What an alcohol drug information school and victim's panel is, starting with the alcohol and drug information school is an eight-hour class, it's education-based.
We have a speaker who goes through a workbook that every client has, and it basically just talks about why they are here.
What decision did they make to bring them to the class?
It's not shaming, it's meant to be positive and educational where people walk away learning something.
They talk about what is “a drink” and “how much is a drink”, so people become better educated about how alcohol affects the body.
There's a decision-making tree aspect to it where people go through a process of backtracking as to how they got their legal issue and how they can make better decisions in the future and walk away with a toolbox of better decision-making capabilities.
That's pretty much what the alcohol school is.
The victim's panel is usually more emotionally impactful for people.
We have two speakers that are wonderful people that talk about how alcohol has significantly impacted their life. One of them lost their son when he was 20 years old when he was in a drunk driving accident. The second speaker lost her leg when somebody hit her from behind while she was getting groceries out of the car. Both are tragic, though not shameful at all.
They are positive and they want people to learn that negative consequences happen when you drink and drive.
Again, for me, alcohol school is to better understand how alcohol affects the body and how they can make better decisions in the future to avoid repeating what they've gone through, which is you know, extremely emotionally intense.
The victim's panel is certainly the icing on the cake with regard to the stamp of, “this is how bad it can get and no one wants to get to the point where they take a life”.