The Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner began presenting the Youthful Drunk Driver Visitation Program (YDDVP) in 1989. The program was established by the California State Legislature and is codified in the California Vehicle Section 23509 et seq. All participants must be ordered by the court to attend the program. We cannot accommodate walk-ins or personal requests.
The judge determines the suitability of the program for the offender and has this program as well as many others that may be considered. The program is intended to serve either as a condition of probation or alternative sentence. The program was designed to offer two separate components encompassing an evening in an emergency room of the local trauma hospital and a brief but powerful visit to the Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.
The judge has the option of ordering one or the other, or both. The judge may also order other offenses (drug offenses, weapons offenses, domestic violence, speeding and miscellaneous alcohol violations) to participate in the program.
The visit to the Department of Medical Examiner-coroner consists of four segments and lasts about three hours. Each program begins at 08:30 hours and no one is allowed in once the program has begun. At the present time, we are offering a class conducted entirely in the Spanish language each month.
1. Presenter introduction -- an overview of the program, followed by a short discussion between offenders and the presenter. Then a visual presentation covering the organization of the Medical Examiner-Coroner, its mission and responsibilities along with assorted case presentations demonstrating the consequences of certain behavioral choices that resulted in death, are presented.
2. The participants are then shown a slideshow presentation. While mildly graphic, it is very powerful in communicating the message about not drinking and driving, by focusing more on the survivors, victims, and in more than a few cases, the person responsible for the death of another.
3. The participants next take a brief tour of the security floor. This limited access area, is where all the bodies are stored, examined and processed into and out of the facility. The participants are required to wear the minimum level of protective apparel as required by OSHA, AND ARE THEN ESCORTED THROUGH THE AREAS WHERE THE DAILY ACTIVITY OF THE MEDICAL EXAMINER-CORONER TAKES PLACE. While participants may view autopsy procedures from the hallway through glass, they are not permitted to enter an autopsy suite while a procedure is in progress. Particular attention is paid to traffic related fatalities, and other cases where drugs, weapons or alcohol abuse figure prominently (i.e., suicides or overdoses.)
4. The final activity provides participants with an opportunity to evaluate their experience and reflect on what happened or what is happening in their lives. The written evaluations almost universally commend the program's intentions and indicate that a definite impact has been made on the attendees.
All participants are given a certificate of attendance from the Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner, a receipt, and their documents are signed.
If there are any further questions, contact:
YDDVP Program Coordinator