THE IMPACT ON LIVES:
Being a speaker on a Victim Impact Panel (VIP) can have a very positive effect for a victim. It becomes a tool for moving through the overwhelming emotional pain that accompanies the tragic loss of a loved one due to an impaired driver. It may also help promote personal healing. While AAIM does encourage this practice, the decision to speak on an AAIM Victim Impact Panel (VIP) is a very personal one and can only be determined by the victim. Victims interested in being a speaker are invited to observe a panel as a guest, before actually giving a speech. Victim Services personnel will assist in the preparation of a speech, as necessary. AAIM Victim Impact Panels (VIP's) are presented to DUI offenders in the courts, to schools, to community groups and to law enforcement.
AAIM presents panels in Cook, Dekalb, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Will, Ogle, Jo Daviess, and Winnebago Counties every month. Panels are also presented in Spanish in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Will, and Winnebago Counties. As the COVID-19 pandemic affected the court processes and required a more accessible approach to sentencing for offenders, AAIM also integrated a Virtual Victim Impact Panel. This virtual panel allows the courts to continue requiring offenders to view a Victim Impact Panel, while ensuring security and safety for all involved. For the virtual panel, AAIM included features to ensure that offenders verify their identity and complete a quiz at the end of the recordings.