In addition to having to pay fines, receiving license suspensions, and perhaps being sentenced to jail, California drunk drivers often have to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings as part of their drunk-driving sentencing requirements. California DUI Courts have determined that by requiring those convicted of CA driving under the influence (DUI) to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, the underlying problems that may have caused the California drunk driving to occur may be eliminated. Today, both California DUI Criminal Courts and prosecutors accept the attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings as sentencing alternatives in lieu of jail time for convicted DUI offenders.
California DUI attorneys will often prevail upon not only the courts, but also the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to allow attendance at AA as a viable alternative to jail, fines, and/or license suspension. In accepting the attendance at AA meetings as a sentencing alternative and/or as part of the conditions of probation, courts will determine how many AA meetings the DUI offender has to attend during a specific amount of time. California DUI offenders are given a “court card” that they must take to the AA meetings with them and have signed by the meeting secretary. If the California Drunk Driving offender fails to attend the required number of meetings during the time allotted, then he or she is in violation of probation, and most likely will be sent to jail. In cases where the AA meeting attendance is required by the DMV and the DUI offender fails to attend the required number of meetings, then his or her license will automatically be suspended.
Alcoholics Anonymous describes itself as “a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.” AA meetings are held nearly every day in just about every community throughout California. There is no cost associated with attending the meetings and DUI offenders and/or their California DUI attorneys can locate a convenient AA meeting place by simply looking up the AA Central Office in any phone directory or by visiting http://www.aa.org/.
Attendance at AA meetings is a good sentencing alternative to losing one’s driving privileges and/or being sent to jail. California DUI lawyers should always review this sentencing alternative to determine if it is the best one to use for their clients.