The Victim Impact Panel (VIP) is dedicated to reducing DUI (driving under the influence) related injuries and fatalities in Whatcom County. Speakers on the VIP share personal testimonies on how a DUI has impacted them, either personally or through the loss or injury of a family member or loved one. The VIP has had a long history of providing a powerful voice about the consequences of impaired driving. The panel exposes the harsh realities of impaired driving, and it creates an appreciation of the seriousness of driving while impaired.
Currently, VIP speakers help to deliver panels every 4-5 weeks (see schedule below). Panels are held in the County Courthouse and typically consist of 2 or 3 speakers who, in a non-accusatory manner, describe the emotional, social, financial, and/or other effects a DUI tragedy has caused in their lives. Some speakers also choose to share their stories at schools and other community events.
The Whatcom County Health Department is continually looking for panelists. If you have been impacted by a DUI and are interested in speaking on the panel, please contact the Whatcom County Health Department at 360-778-6002.
All panels are held in the council chambers of the county courthouse at 311 Grand Ave in Bellingham, WA.
Language interpretation services are available at no cost. Please call 360-778-6049 at least one week before the panel to make arrangements.
To receive a certificate of attendance, attendees must pay and register before attending. Registration can be done online or in person at the Health Department on Girard Street. Guests and the general public are welcome to attend free of charge, although the material may be unsuitable for young children.
For more information about impaired driving, read this recent article from a local traffic safety expert.