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From the court's perspective, the victim impact panel (VIP) is an opportunity for an offender to see firsthand the impact that drunk driving has on the victim.  The court does have the right in second and subsequent cases to order attendance.  At these meetings, the client will hear from those whose lives have been affected by drunk driving.  It is normally a one-time class and lasts 3-4 hours of the day.

The representatives who run the meeting are very strict with respect to being on time.  The doors usually close and lock when the meeting starts.  Thus, to avoid being locked out, it is best to arrive at least 20-30 minutes before the meeting starts.

Never show up at the meeting with alcohol on your breath or in your system.  I have seen representatives report offenders to police and the police arrest offenders who show up drunk.

I have had clients who have said the VIP meeting has had a profound impact on them.  However, I have had others question the usefulness of meeting.  Regardless, if the court orders you to appear at the VIP, you could face contempt charges if you fail to do so.