Alcoholics Anonymous made its debut in the world in 1935. Since then, millions of alcoholics have benefited from the principles of this simple 12-step program. There’s not a success story around every corner but thus far “AA” seems to be one of the most beneficial programs for alcoholics who wish to stop drinking and live a better life. Courts have acknowledged this by requiring AA meetings as a rehabilitation component of sentences. It’s not enough to be punished. Sometimes alcoholics convicted of DUIs need another path to travel down in order to avoid getting another DUI.
Not everyone who gets a DUI is an alcoholic. Even if they’re not an alcoholic, though, they can still benefit from AA. It shows them how far down the path of alcoholism they’ve traveled and helps them reevaluate the decisions that led them to a DUI conviction. In most probation cases, you’ll see a defendant asked to complete a certain number of AA meetings as a condition of their probation.
If you’re not familiar with AA, that’s okay. Many people aren’t. It was started by Bill Wilson in 1935 in order to help him abstain from alcohol and avoid the terrors that had led him to the gates of hell within alcoholism. It’s a simple program that helps people stay sober one day at a time. AA meetings bring together a diverse group of people who all discuss how they stay sober each day. No two alcoholics refrain from alcohol the same way. There’s always something new to learn and take away from each meeting. The best part is that you can be a passive listener or an active participant in the actual 12-step program and still leave each meeting a better person than you were before you walked in.
DUI offenses are a perfect fit for AA meetings. You’ll frequently see judges and prosecutors recommend AA meetings for a defendant who seems like they might have a drinking problem. Even if they’re not to the gates of full blown alcoholism, the progress can be arrested and it can reduce the chances that they will drive drunk again. Often courts will send a sheet of paper to meetings with defendants so that the leader of the meeting can sign and prove that they’ve attended the meetings like they were supposed to.
Whether AA meetings are recommended will depend on the details behind the case. If it’s a first offense DUI, AA meetings might not be recommended. If it’s a second offense, it’s more likely that the judge will ask AA meetings to be a component of the sentence. These meetings have to be attended or else you’re in contempt of court. In some cases, a good DUI lawyer can help keep you out of AA meetings if they present a hardship in your life due to a busy schedule or work. During arraignment, the judge will ask the details behind the case, take into consideration how high the BAC was at arrest, and then decide whether AA meetings are warranted. If they are, your Los Angeles DUI attorney can determine whether or not you are able to attend AA meetings. In some cases, it can change the sentence structure or even the final outcome. Many Los Angeles DUI lawyers are able to barter with AA meetings in an attempt to reduce certain consequences of the sentence.
If you’ve been charged with a DUI, Los Angeles DUI attorneys are a vital component to your positive outcomes. No one wants to face this kind of charge and many are embarrassed after they’re charged. A good lawyer reduces the amount of stress you have to carry during your time in the court system. AA meetings can be a great way to show the court that you’re attempting to change your life for the better.