OVC Provider Forum Transcript

Drunk Driving
John Evans  -  2005/12/22
.  John Evans
 Thank you for offering the forum on Drunk and Drugged Driving in December. I am glad to participate.
My biggest struggle with coordinating Drunk Driving Impact Panels is getting speakers interested in presenting. We have done a variety of media segments, but are still in need of successful marketing ideas to encourage people to share their experiences with offenders. Any ideas would be appreciatied.
1.  Marti
 As MADD advocates work with and support victims, relationships are built and at appropriate time, the offer can be made for a venue to tell personal stories, often providing a source of healing or venue for victims to feel empowered by the opportunity to make a difference or prevent an offender from repeating their crime. Victim Advocates of other crimes may be willing to work with you in identifying victims who may find speaking a healthy and healing activity.
2.  John Evans
 We frequently experience difficulties in finding people who have been victimized that are willing to speak publicly about their vicitmization, especially to a room full of offenders. Having potential speakers observe a panel demonstration without offenders present could help in building their comfort and confidence before stepping up before a full audience. We offer panel speaker retreats to help people prepare their presentations.
#1 What free video resources do you recommend for use with juvenile delinquent youth. #2 Please discuss the statistical outcomes of programs you see that use victim impact panels and those that don't.
1.  John Evans
 The MADD multi-media programs focus on youth and positive peer influences to make responsible choices. We have seen the emotional impact during the presentations as well as the long-term supportive impact through letters and activism in youth communities.Some statesschools have grant funds available to bring the program to the youth in their community.There isn't much recent research on the long-term effects of VIPs upon offenders. One study by Purdue University exposed a significant reduction in recidivism for those who attended a VIP in the Indianapolis metropolitan community.Research has also been conducted on the positive healing benefits for victimssurvivors who speak on VIPs. More research needs to be done to compare the outcomes.
2.  Chuck Hurley
 There are a whole variety of videos availalbe in every state highway safety office. Having said that, we at MADD are not at all convinced that videos alone, or even victim impact panels alone are the entire answer. The main thing that young (and probably old as well) offenders respond to in drunk driving is the sweiftness and certainty of the punishment. Videos and impact panels can increase the public understanding of why we need strict enforcement. Thanks.
When we review child deaths due to MVA, most are classified preventable injuries(accidents). However if the driver was inebriated or reckless, the death may then be reclassified as a homicide and prosecution may then follow. My question to you is whether you see an advantage to the reclassification of death from "accident" to "homicide" in the successful prosecution of these cases since the original autopsy calls most of these deaths in a MVA an "accident".
1.  Chuck Hurley
 Hi, I'm Chuck Hurley, also with MADD. Most folks in the public health world have stopped using the word accident many years ago because it generally indicates randomness, or luck, fate, magic as the cause. Drunk driving is a particularly good example that is predictable, therefore preventable. The more accuarate we are about the cause and the contributing factors, hopefully the more effective out prevention efforts can be. Thanks.
2.  John Evans
 We at MADD never view drunk driving crashes as accidents. I think the change in terminology would be beneficial in recognizing that the death or injuries resulted from a perpetrated event. Many states now use appropriate terminology referring to MVC's vs. MVA's and Crash Reports have replaced accident reports. For crime victimssurvivors the term accident diminishes the loss experience.
3.  Randi - RRC AK
 In my state (AK) there is a big push to not use the term accident because it implies that there is nothing that could have been done to prevent the injuries. And although it is a small distinction I think it is one that needs to be made -- a preventable injury is not an accident.
I am in charge of hosting a town hall meeting in March about preventing underage drinking. I believe that in order for the meeting to be effective at all then we need to get the youth involved. How do you do that? What are some effective ways of hosting a town hall meeting? Do you find them effective?
1.  John Evans
 Town Hall Meetings can be a very effective way to get community involvement, public awareness, and positive change on an issue. Please visit http:www.sahmsa.gov for the planning guide for effective Town Hall Meetings. Search for ICPUD coalition meetings for more information.MADD has youth initiatives such as Youth In Action inviting youth leaders to actively take part in positive community change through shoulder taps, compliance checks, legislative visits, and efforts to support local law enforcement. We have seen great successes on alcohol advertising, a reduction in youth access to alcohol and proper sales practices come from such initiatives.
2.  Sharon Gehrman
 What a wonderful idea. Our organization MINNESOTANS FOR SAFE DRIVING and a YOUNG DRIVERS TRAINING Group called TRAINING WHEELS have been hosting a panel for new drivers.The presentaion includes 4 individuals, victims and offenders, who tell their story of an incident that occured in their life, very powerful. Having the parents attend is really the key. Good luck
3.  Chuck Hurley
 At MADD we have a program by the name of Youth in Action (more info available at our website, madd.org). This often involves underage people themselves participating in stings of package storesand other efforts to reduce access to alcohol. The main reason kids continue to drink is because they can. It is a great topic for a public forum. Thanks.
We are looking for helpful and free brochures and/or handouts that might be to give to victim's. Any thought's?
1.  John Evans
 Additionally, many non-profit victim services organizations have excellent supportive literature that is produced with grant funding for the purpose of distribution to crime victims and service providers. Ask your local coalitions and State Attorney General's Office Victim Services Division or other VOCA Administrator for a list of funded programs that may have literature available.
2.  John Evans
 MADD provides free supportive literature to victims of impaired driving crashes. Our literature is available in print, in English and Spanish, and through the website www.madd.org, under Victims tab. People can read online, download, or print the materials to share with victimssurvivors. OVC has a wealth of supportive resources available for vcitmissurvivors of all crimes as well.
What is the most beneficial form of support intervention in the immediate aftermath of a death from drunk driving for families and then long term?
1.  John Evans
 The most important task for an advocate supporting a crime victim is to provide quick response. The advocate should establish that the victim feels safe from further harm, that the victim understands what is happening, and that the victim has appropriate trusted support around himher. Financial resources (for medical treatments andor death ceremoniesservices) play an important role in the immediate aftermath for a victimized person. In terms of long-term support, providing a safe environment in which to talk about what has happened in terms of physical, emotional, financial and spiritual reactions to the crime prove beneficial to victim survivors. Survivors have shared with us that the most important interventions were being able to speak about the event, having feelingsthoughts accepted, and being with others who share a similar experience.
If we really want to get serious about road safety, I think we need to focus on public transportation infrastructure, and access to drug and alcohol treatment for those in need. Ordinary driver fatigue also significantly adds to the risk of auto accidents. People can't always afford a cab ride home. This is not a justification to drive drunk, but it is a reason to highlight the importance of having public transportation available. Young people lose respect for authority when law enforcement focuses on, for example, college parties where 19 and 20 year old drinkers get arrested while not even in a car. Would it not be more productive to use our resources to have buses run late at night, and of course, to have drug and alcohol treatment available and affordable for those who need it?
1.  John Evans
 I would like to identify three key topics you discuss: Underage Drinking and Enforcement, AffordableAlternative Transportation, and Treatment Resources.I support law enforcement efforts to stopprevent underage drinking. Sorry to ruin the party, but people under 21 years of age who choose to drink alcoholic beverages choose to break the law and should be held accountable. Providing public transportation, unfortunately, doesn't seem to reduce the occurrances of drunk driving deaths and injuries. Statistics show that crashes frequently occur in areas that are heavily populated and have massive public transportation systems. Using the cab fare excuse suggests that buying the drinks is more important than buying a safe ride home. Personal responsibility and accountability is missing here. I do believe treatment is a key to reducing the occurrances of drunk driving and MADD supports mandatory treatment for repeat DWIDUI offenders. Many treatment centers are grant funded and are affordable for people who want treatment. Thanks for your question.
2.  Randi - RRC AK
 In my town (Anchorage, AK) many of our bars offer to pay a persons cab ride home if they have had too much to drink and don't have any money. I don't know it they get any sort of incentives by doing this but I know that is is very helpful. At one bar that I worked at, the cab company and the bar had a flat-rate system worked out, so no matter how far away the person lived the bar would only pay on fee. The problem comes in that they do not advertise this information and they really like to keep it a secret because it is a lot of money out of their pocket. However, I think that more cities should do the same thing.
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