STOP DUI believes competitive program not effective

Spencer Lubitz

STOP DUI believes competitive program not effective

CREATED Sep. 15, 2012

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The non-profit organization behind Thursday's vigil for victims of the fatal bus stop crash earlier this week say that the services they provide are now being threatened.

Officials with STOP DUI blame judges for allowing offenders to use an alternative program they believe is less effective.

After a drunk driver is convicted, they must attend a victim-impact panel where they hear stories like Vicki Johnson's.

Johnson's 17-year-old son was killed by a drunk driver.

For 15 years, local non-profit STOP DUI has been the sole provider of these panels. They use the money received from the offenders to help victim's families to pay for things like funeral expenses.

They now say their funding has dropped drastically since judges began referring drivers to a competitive for-profit business called New Beginnings.

It is not just a loss of funding that has officials with STOP DUI concerned. Many of them attended a class at New Beginnings and say that the owners are in it for financial gain rather than providing the most effective eduction to stop DUI offenders from drinking and driving again.

Gail Anderson, the owner of New Beginnings, says she believes STOP DUI feels threatened now that there is competition.

Anderson readily admits that she charges DUI offenders $10 less than STOP DUI and, unlike the non-profit, the money she earns goes into her pockets and not to victim services.

Sandy Heverely of STOP DUI said she hopes to convince judges that they have made a mistake.