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Old 02-04-2009, 08:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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MADD Class, anyone been to one?

I have to attend a MADD victim impact panel tomorrow.
Has anyone been to one of these? I'm nervous. I know why the court is requiring it, and I know I need to hear what could have happened had I hit someone else. But I am curious if you have to talk or if you are called out for what you did in front of everyone?

Just wondering what to expect.
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Old 02-04-2009, 09:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have not been to one, but I don't blame you for being nervous.

Hopefully someone will be along to give you some firsthand insight.

I think if you keep an open mind and remain focused on your recovery, you'll be okay.
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Old 02-04-2009, 09:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I had to go to one a few years back when I was in college. The one that I went to we did not have to talk or share. We were all in a big room and the ladies and family members stood up and told us about how their family was impacted by drunk drivers. It was very sad and very serious. I was not there because of a DUI, I had gotten another charge that was not related to driving. It was a difficult experience but one that I will never forget. Some may seem angry at you, but the best advice I can give you is just listen. Good luck!
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Old 02-04-2009, 09:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I went to one 10+ years ago in CA. You don't have to say anything. It was like a college class (in fact they held it in a college auditorium) there was probably 200 people in the room.

They had a few speakers telling about what MADD is, one AA dude that actually had killed someone and already did his time, and a CHP officer talking about having to inform family members that their loved one was killed by a drunk driver. It took 2 hours in all.

They also really tried to make a $20 donation a part of the deal, but it was a scam. I was in line to get my court paper signed and I asked if the $20 was required to get my paper signed. They were like "we need to pay for this". ******* that I was I replied "of course you do, I assume some of my $2500 fine to the state pays for that, so why an extra $20?". She just snatched my card and signed it.

It sucked but it was the price of a DUI.

I found AA 7 years later on my own. Today I realize it was only by the grace of God that I never killed anybody, or myself, during those crazy drinking days.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I have spoken at DUI meetings as a member of AA, and they often have us follow a MADD speaker or other, independent victim impact speakers. I got teary-eyed. The first time, I thought--how can I follow that? I have an upbeat message, and the tone at that point was definitely not upbeat. But, after a quick prayer, I realized that perhaps that was the best time to offer a message of hope. The talk effectively brought about the sense of a bottom, even if it was an empathetic bottom.

Peace & Love,
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Old 02-04-2009, 12:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I went to a similar typr of thing when I got my impaired in 1986. It was called SIPIT, can't remember what it stood for and it lasted 8 weeks with different people talking and interacting.
There was one man there that was confined to a wheelchair courtesy of an impaired driver and that was the hardest to handle. I felt so guilty by association that I couldn't look him in the eye.

I have not drove with any alcohol in my since so he did what he set out to do for me. I often think how hard it is for that man to speak at these things.

MADD was there one meeting too and they seemed more interested in getting donations than talking about what they do.

On a related subject about MADD they almost lost their charitable status in Canada because over 80% of what was donated was not used for charitable causes. Most of it went to commissions for people collecting donations. Don't know if that has changed but that is kinda sadd.
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Old 02-04-2009, 12:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I had to attend one in August as part of my court ordered DUI stuff. It was held in the jury room at the court house. It was a huge room with a couple hundred people. There were several speakers but none of the participants spoke, were asked to or were expected to. It affected me very deeply. I sat in my car afterwards and cried for 20 minutes. I am so grateful I did not hurt anyone. I drove drunk SO often.
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Old 02-04-2009, 02:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I had to attend one last year.

I might not have thought it would have been so bad, had the lead speaker not been the mother of a kid I went to high school with. I might've been the only person out of 200 that was tearing up.

Go and be open to it.
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Old 02-04-2009, 02:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah, every time I go home to see my family I can see where this particular drunk driver went off the road and smashed through several small trees before smashing into one that killed him and his passenger. It's been over 8 years and you can still see clearly where the car went through.
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