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How House Bill 1017 Changes The Way DUI Offenders Learn From Their Actions

by  on  Accident Attorney

As a Denver accident law firm, we pride ourselves on staying up-to-date with the latest laws and bills to go into effect. We care about representing our clients to the best of our ability and are only able to do that by keeping ourselves informed about changes that may impact the way our clients must interact with the law.

The new bills that went into effect this summer definitely caught our attention. Although there were many interesting and even a few landmark changes that took place, one of the laws that got our attention was House Bill 1017—Victim Impact Panel Appearances For DUI.

The bill, which redefines penalties for traffic offenses involving alcohol and drugs, was officially put into effect on July 1st of this year and applies to all offenses after this date in order to preserve “public peace, health, and safety.”

In it, it is stated that those who are convicted of drunk driving or a similar traffic offense must appear before a victim impact panel and pay a maximum of $50. A victim impact panel (VIP) is when individuals who have survived substance-impaired driving accidents, or others impacted by the crime, gather to speak about the crash and how it has influenced the course of their lives.

Victim Impact Panels Leave an Impression

The mission of the VIP is to create a space in which DWI/DUI offenders can better understand the way in which their actions impact others, as well as to cultivate empathy and give perspective so that the accused will not commit the same crime in the future. These groups are a space of non-judgment — it is simply people sharing their stories. Thus, the hope is that DWI/DUI offenders will not feel blamed so much as motivated to change their behavior for the better.

As a Denver accident attorney, we know just how impactful shared stories can be. We also know that many who commit DWI and DUI offenses never mean to hurt or endanger anyone else. Thus, we support the fact that this is a space in which offenders are not made to feel guilty for their actions.

After all, negative reinforcement is not always the only way to teach someone to change their behavior. As humans, it often helps to connect with others in a real way, get to know their stories and make changes to your behavior as a result.

Levine Law is Here for You

We have high hopes that this new bill will have a positive impact on the safety of our roads and on the way that drivers are able to process the reality of their actions. While it is important to ensure that our roads our safe, it is also important to ensure that the accused are actually learning something and not simply being pushed through a legal system that does not truly care about each individual’s growth.

If you have been impacted by a drunk driving collision, whether as the driver or as a bystander, know that we are here to help. We have the experience and know-how to help you navigate your case, so you can put the past behind you and move forward with a clean slate.

Feel free to contact Levine Law today. We’ll set up an initial consultation, listen to your story and help you decide the best next step.