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The New York State Victim Impact Panel is often imposed as a sanction in DWI cases. When imposed by a court, the offender must appear at the Panel scheduled specifically by the court. You must arrive at least 30 minutes early, and you cannot consume any alcohol on the day of the Panel. You will be screened with a breath test before entering, and if you have any alcohol in your system you will not be allowed to enter. The Panel coordinator will notify your sentencing judge that you violated your sentence by showing up with alcohol in your system, and the sentencing judge can take a variety of actions. The harshest action a judge could take would be to find that you violated the terms of your Conditional Discharge and then sentence you for up to one year in jail. The judge may also choose to simply resentence you to another VIP without an additional sanction.
If you live outside of New York State, the sentencing judge may allow you to attend a different Victim Impact Panel sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. You must have permission from the sentencing judge to attend one of these Panels. Do not assume that if you miss your scheduled Panel, you can just sign up for a different VIP through MADD.
If you are charged with a DWI and are trying to determine what your next steps are, feel free to call The Militello Law Firm at (585) 485-0025.