Los Angeles DUI and Alcoholics Anonymous
In many driving under the influence cases, a defendant may be required to attend Alcoholics Anonymous (“AA”) meetings at some point in the DUI process. Since its inception in 1935, AA has gained prominence as an effective method for individuals to address and treat alcoholism and drug abuse. Courts recognize that many DUI defendants may have issues with alcohol use and will require DUI defendants to attend AA meetings either a condition of release or as a condition of probation.
AA is an international mutual aid group that was founded in 1935 by Bill Wilson in order to help alcoholics achieve sobriety and stay sober. AA focuses on the twelve steps to sobriety and is based around hour-long meetings in which anyone can participate and participation is completely anonymous. AA has been recognized as a successful way to help alcoholics and other addicts stay sober. AA meetings are held in numerous different locations and at all times of the day. Many AA meetings are tailored to fit individual lifestyle, religious and interest groups.
Many prosecutors and judges consider the commission of a DUI offense to be an indication that a person may have an unrealized or unaddressed drinking problem. As a result, Courts and prosecutors often require DUI defendants to attend AA meetings. Defendants who are alcoholics may confront their drinking issues by attending these meetings. Defendants who are not alcoholics may find these meetings to be very educational and help them avoid the problems that may have led them to commit a DUI offense.
When a defendant is arraigned for a DUI, the judge may ask about the details of the case, including the age of the defendant, the defendant’s record, the defendant’s alleged BAC and the defendant’s driving conduct. The judge may require the defendant to attend weekly AA meetings as a condition of release. The defendant would be provided a form on which to record his or her attendance. The defendant would have to have someone at the meeting sign the form and this proof of attendance would have to be submitted at the defendant’s pretrial hearings. Failure to attend the required number of AA meetings could result in the defendant having his or her OR release revoked and being taken into custody.
AA providers are not affiliated with the courts and everything that is said at the meetings is intended to remain completely anonymous. AA meeting are free and many meetings feature speakers who discuss their experience with drug or alcohol use. Meetings may also invite members of the group to share or respond. A person is not required to speak at a meeting and can simply listen to what is being said.
Many prosecutors will require AA attendance as part of a DUI sentence. If the defendant had been required to attend AA meetings prior to sentencing, the Court may credit the defendant with meetings that he or she has already attended. When taking the AB541 class or other required alcohol education program, the program may also require the participant to attend a certain number of AA meetings. These meetings would not count for any court requirement but would satisfy the requirements of the AB541 class.
If you have been arrested for DUI, it is absolutely crucial that you meet with a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer as soon as possible. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Los Angeles DUI Attorney Michael Kraut understands the DUI process and fights hard to ensure his clients receive the best representation possible throughout this process.
For more information about Los Angeles DUI and Alcoholics Anonymous, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1520, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.