The SSWRC of Plymouth recently received a grant to provide confidential services, free of charge, to individuals and/or families affected by impaired driving. Individuals eligible for services must live within Bristol and/or Plymouth County (or have a participating family member within this region) that have either been the survivor of an accident, a family member of a survivor or victim, or even a witness to a collision caused by a driver who was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol at the time of the accident. Under this grant, the individual & family advocate is able to not only do individual, family, and/or group counseling, but is further able to support the family with any legal procedures, such as accompanying the potential client to the courthouse for any action taken by the state toward the defendant. The Survivor of Impaired Driving Advocate will also discuss Victim Compensation with the potential client and assist with accessing these types of resources and any other that the individual and/or family may be in need of.
When individuals are charged with violent crimes, including DUI type charges, that person must pay a Victim Witness Assistance (VWA) fee. The Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance allocates a portion of this particular fine to the Drunk Driving Trust Fund, which is how this & other programs are able to work with individuals affected free-of-charge - This is to say that those affected by impaired driving have a direct right to these services. If a client falls outside of the Bristol/Plymouth County catchment area, the program advocate will be able to make the appropriate referral, as this grant does exist in multiple counties throughout the state of Massachusetts.
For further information or to make a referral, including a self-referral, please contact myself at the SSWRC in Plymouth at 508-746-2664 or toll-free at 888-746-2664. You can access information on services offered for individuals affected by homicide and/or domestic violence at these same numbers.