What is MADD?
MADD, as you probably know, stands for “Mothers Against Drunk Driving“. MADD was started in 1980 in California after the founder’s daughter was killed by a drunk driver. MADD moved to Texas and has become a major lobbying force for DUI laws. There is at least one MADD office in every state of the United States and at least one in each province of Canada, and MADD representatives have testified before Congress and State Assemblies, and have lobbied for laws targeting drunk driving.
While the overall crime rate has dropped significantly since 1980, MADD believes that their efforts are the cause of the substantial drop in DUI cases.
What is the MADD Victim Impact Panel?
The MADD Victim Impact Panel (VIP) is a presentation that is given in Orange County twice a month (as of 2017). It is only given in cases where:
- there was a DUI conviction; and
- the prosecutor (District Attorney) made a plea bargain offer.
Currently, in Orange County, most court offers (offers to plead to the judge and bypass the offer from the prosecution) do not include the MADD program. Certain judges are critical of MADD and their activities, and others just offer “no MADD program” as an incentive to plead with lower punishment. (Note 10/23/2017, Judge Joe Perez, in the North Justice Center Fullerton Courthouse, offers the MADD VIP program as part of all court DUI plea bargain offers from the court).
As you can see above by the image of a partial form, there is an “Orange County Victim Impact Panel Form” that is required to attend the VIP program. The form instructs persons that “As a term of your probation, you are required to attend a MADD Victim Impact Panel presentation“. This is a one-time presentation, unlike the alcohol school, which is ongoing.
The referral form from the alcohol liaison office at the court invites people that “For additional information regarding attending this program please call”, and lists the phone number for the MADD VIP program as (714) 586-5285. For persons speaking Spanish, the phone number is (714) 586-5286. The program is given by MADD Orange County.
MADD Victim Impact Panel VIP Orange County Registration
The MADD Victim Impact Panel VIP Orange County registration, done through the alcohol liaison office at the courthouse where you sign up for alcohol classes, keeps track of the number of people, and the names of people, referred to each session, and will close a session when it is full (even if not all persons registered show up for the presentation).
MADD Victim Impact Panel VIP Orange County Details and Instructions
The Form lists the Orange County Location. Note that the county used to hold these presentations at two locations – the Santa Ana City Council Chambers, in Santa Ana, and at Orange Coast College, in Costa Mesa. The presentation was then moved to a single location – a Seventh Day Adventist Church, in Orange, and then moved again, and is currently at the following location and given twice per month, (as of August 2016):
Second Baptist Church,
4300 Westminster Avenue,
Santa Ana, CA 92703
Check-in Time: 6 pm – Rules are read promptly and check-in begins.
NO ADMITTANCE after the speaker has begun their presentation.
FEE: $40.00 payable by money order or cashier’s check only. CASH OR PERSONAL CHECKS ARE NOT ACCEPTED.
Orange County Court Referrals:
If you have been sentenced by one of the courts in Orange County located in Santa Ana, Fullerton, Westminster, or Newport Beach, you have already been registered by the court through the alcohol liaison’s office, usually through your Orange County DUI Attorney. A referral form will be provided by the alcohol liaison at the courthouse. You must attend on the date assigned to you by the court. If you are unable to attend on your assigned date, or if you do not have an assigned date, you must go back to the courthouse and see the Alcohol Liaison in person. If you attempt to attend a panel you are not registered for, you will be referred back to the alcohol liaison at the courthouse. MADD CAN NOT help you with registration. You must bring your court referral form, $40 money order or cashier’s check, and photo ID for admittance to the panel.
Out of County Referrals:
If you have been sentenced by any court outside of Orange County, including outside of the state of California, you do not need pre-register for the MADD Panel. Simply show up on the date that works for you with paperwork from your court, your photo ID, and the $40 fee. You will be admitted based on space available at the chosen panel. If you have passed your court-ordered completion deadline, you must go back to court and obtain an extension in order to attend a MADD Panel. See your Orange County DUI Lawyer, if you have one, to get an extension.
Note that the instructions tell you to: ARRIVE AT 6:00 p.m. SHARP. Parking is free. The Cost is $40 by cashier’s check or money order only. No cash, no checks, no credit cards. MADD considers this an “optional contribution”.
The instructions also state: MUST PRESENT PHOTO IDENTIFICATION. LATE ARRIVALS WILL NOT BE ADMITTED. YOUR SOBRIETY IS REQUIRED.
While it may sound like a challenge, or even fun, to show up to a MADD victim presentation intoxicated or drunk, once you see the stories of people killed or permanently injured by drunk drivers, you will see the disadvantage of having a depressant like alcohol in your system. The presentation is several hours long. MADD considers you “late” if you enter the room after the first speaker starts. The first speaker doesn’t start until all people have checked in.
The form states,
“ATTENTION ORANGE COUNTY PARTICIPANTS“:
To receive credit for your attendance, you must sign in on the roster of the court that sentenced you.”
(That must mean that there are several clipboards that have lists of people assigned to the program organized by courthouse). Know ahead of time if your case was in the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach, the West Justice Center in Westminster, the North Justice Center in Fullerton, or the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana. The third digit of your case number will have an “H”, a “W”, an “N”, or a “C” to note the courthouse your case was in.
MADD Victim Impact Panel VIP Orange County Proof of Completion
While the form states, “Your signature is proof of attendance unless otherwise specified by the court. You must attend the entire session on the date assigned to you by the court, and sign out if required.” In Orange County, when you have completed the MADD presentation, the location will give you a card that shows you attended.
In most cases, unless MADD says they will file it for you, it is your responsibility to file it with the court. You can do so at the windows for the clerk’s office at any courthouse in Orange County. If you have a DUI attorney in Orange County, your lawyer should handle this for you. For our clients, we handle this for you.
Proof of attendance will be issued at the end of each panel to each attendee.
It is the responsibility of the attendee to show proof of attendance to the court, based on the instructions provided by the court when the sentencing/probation requirements were given.
In the event the proof of completion certificate is lost, a secondary proof of attendance letter can be issued at a cost of $50.00 – payable by money order and picked up at the Westminster MADD office.
What if you miss your MADD Victim Impact Panel Orange County date?
The answer to that depends. Knowing that the MADD presentation is overbooked, and tends to fill up and spill over to the next month fairly, most judges in Orange County DUI cases will give you months to complete the MADD program, even if the next available and open presentation date is next week.
As a result, you will have two dates –
- Your court compliance date, months from now, and
- Your MADD VIP attendance date.
If you miss a MADD VIP date, you can see the alcohol liaison for a referral to the next available date. As long as you do not go past the completion date set by the court, you can sign up again and again until actually completed. But the date set by the court is serious and shouldn’t be missed – if you can’t make that date, go to court immediately to see a judge and get an extension to set a future date so you can complete the one time VIP presentation with MADD. Or have your DUI Lawyer Orange County do that for you right away.
If you have questions about the Orange County MADD VIP program or want to ask about the program and how it works, contact our DUI defense firm today. We are here to help you.