I had heard the stories before, many times before. Not because I was court ordered to be here but because I work here. In spite of this I still choke back tears when I hear the stories. The stories that are so senselessly sad. Stories that could have easily been avoided.
I’m talking about the court mandated program called Victim Impact Panel, which is a program for DUI offenders to sit through and hear stories from those who have been impacted by drunk or drug driving.
Its quite disheartening. Such a simple solution, just don’t drive, and yet many of those who are sitting here in this class have been here before. They have heard the story of the woman who was hit by the drunk driver, and saw the pictures when her face was so mangled that you could not tell it is her face you are looking at. They saw the pictures of the precious little boy who was the unfortunate passenger in a car where the driver was drunk. He died instantly on impact. They heard the story of the lady who comes to every panel and brings the urn with her daughter’s ashes. They hear it, they see it, and yet they still end up offending again.
One of the stories that makes me very upset every time is the story of the man who sat through this class twice, who’s license had been revoked, and who still got in his car, high on meth, and got into an accident that killed himself and both of his children.
Personally I choose not to drink or do drugs at all. But if you choose to, please think ahead. Prior to your first sip, plan ahead. Once you start drinking your thinking is going to be impaired and you won’t necessarily make good choices. So make those choices prior to. As for drugs or under age drinking, just don’t do it! Its not worth it.
It only takes a couple of minutes to plan ahead. A couple of minutes could save you a lifetime of grief.