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What is Victims’ Impact Panel?

The Lincoln County Victims’ Impact Panel is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the epidemic of driving under the influence of intoxicants. Alcohol and drug-related crashes take innocent lives and physically injure an alarming number of people daily. They are the number one killer of our young people. But unlike other serious epidemics, driving while intoxicated has a cure. The answer is found in those who are forever changed because of someone’s decision to drive after drinking or taking drugs.

The Lincoln County Victims’ Impact Panel believes in aiming at the heart to reach people about the dangers of driving under the influence. This is accomplished by having a panel of speakers share their personal and very real tragedies, thereby giving a name and a face to the pain. These perspectives presented can include:

The Victim: This is either someone who has lost a family member to an intoxicated driver; someone who survived a wreck caused by an intoxicated driver; or someone whose loved one was permanently handicapped by an intoxicated driver.
The Rescue Professional: This viewpoint can come from law enforcement, firefighters, or EMTs. These are people who are emotionally impacted by what they see and deal with, regardless of the fact it is their job.
The DUI Offender: This is someone who has killed or injured someone while driving under the influence and has served time for the crime.

The speakers are the heart and soul of this program and are giving the ultimate gift by sharing their painful tragedies with a room full of strangers. Without these dedicated speakers, there would be no program at all. Because there is no adequate way to thank our speakers, we make sure that their service with us is positive and respectful. Many, if not all, of our speakers report that their experience with the Lincoln County Victims' Impact Panel is positive and that they feel they have made a difference and possibly saved lives.


Michele Osterhoudt

Pam Briggs (former speaker)

Kristi Finney-Dunn


Mark Niclas

Sgt. Greg Plummer (Oregon State Police)

Dan Walker



Who are the audiences?

Panels are presented on a regular basis to DUI offenders who have been court-ordered to attend. Depending on the location, the program may be offered quarterly, monthly, or bi-monthly. Panels are also presented in middle schools, high schools, and colleges and universities all through the school year.

The Lincoln County Victims' Impact Panel sees the program as being in a “win-win” situation. Everyone benefits from the program. With a mission statement of “. . . drunk driving awareness, prevention, and healing . . .” offenders are reformed through awareness; young people are prevented from making dangerous choices; and healing is promoted in the panelists who participate.



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