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What I Learned

I wrote an essay about a DUI Victims Panel that I watched. This is what I have learned.

The purpose of the DUI Victim Panel is to help the offender understand the perspective of the victim that the damage and or harm has caused the victim and their families. It can also help the offender put themselves in the victims’ emotional shoes as well. The victim panel is comprised of victims and survivors of intoxicated drivers. The main purpose is to show a different side of DUI, not just the criminal, and fines and fees but the impact it has on victims and the community. I think that it also comes down to being able to have empathy for the victims in order to not make the same mistake. I learned the $30 fee the panel costs are used to fund extra programs such as saturation patrols, pay for computers that go into the patrol cars, extra breathalyzer units for the officers, and they help to assist with taxis. I learned about the impact it has on all the survivors, parents of kids that died from intoxicated humans. I would lose my mind if my kids were ever affected by intoxicated people or affected by drugs and alcohol. I heard some of the stories that people went through and how their decisions changed their lives. I have also known a person that lost her high school son in a drunk driving situation. When she told me what happened it broke my heart. At the time of my situation my personal life was affecting my decision making. I hit rock bottom and became lost and was going through bad depression and feelings of worthlessness. The reason why I chose to drink and take pills was to numb the pain my daily life was bringing me. I needed to escape the mental and emotional abuse I was going through. In the end it just made me dumber, and I know I have lost some type of brain functions due to my poor decisions and many times running into walls due to drunken and strung-out nights and many accidents. I can proudly and officially say that I have the capability to say no to drugs when it is offered. I also know when to say no to alcohol if I don’t want to drink or know I shouldn’t drink. For example, if I must work the next morning, I am not getting drunk and popping pills the night before. I know not to show up to work high on medications or anything. I realized it altered my brain so much that I made some seriously awful decisions. I also realized that my kids are the most important humans in my life, and I needed to change myself to be a better mother to them and to be a better human to society. I learned that I cannot break the law and expect to escape it, because it will follow me until I have completed all the steps needed. I also learned that the justice system is willing to compromise if I explained my situation and what I was going through, and what I am doing to better myself, and what I learned from the situation. I learned that if I respected everyone and showed kindness and empathy that humans are not all that bad. I learned to put myself in other people’s shoes and show empathy instead of hatred towards them, whether they have hurt me or not. I felt the people’s pain while they were talking about their stories in the victims panel video, because I know I too would not be ok if something so awful was to happen to my loved ones. I learned that the victims panel is made up of mostly volunteers. I find that incredible, because that is basically folks volunteering their energy, and time to change the world one small step at a time. I really enjoyed watching this video because it put in perspective the true pain that the victims, and the family of the victims go through when stuff like this happens. I also heard that some people have seen all the perspectives of intoxicated accidents. For example, the officer has watched a boy die in his arms, he and his family was a victim of an intoxicated accident, and he also saw the offender’s perspective as well due to being a police officer. This video has helped me understand how the justice system is trying to help their community stay safe and change the offenders’ lives for the better by hopefully helping us realize the impact of intoxicated driving. I am an empath; I have had no problem and never will have a problem realizing my mistakes and changing my ways.

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