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Court Ordered Alcoholics Anonymous Classes in DUI Cases

Posted by Robert Berglund | Apr 11, 2023

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a support group whose stated "primary purpose" is to help alcoholics "stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety."  AA members follow the principles outlined in "The Big Book," which suggests a twelve-step program in which members admit that they are powerless over alcohol and need help from a "higher power."  Members seek guidance and strength through prayer and meditation from God or another Higher Power of their own understanding.  There are other non-religious self-help programs as well, such as Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS), which also help people get sober.  There are AA and SOS locations throughout Los Angeles County.  You can find both in person and online AA meetings on the websites of Los Angeles Central Office of Alcoholics Anonymous and San Fernando Valley Alcoholics Anonymous

Some people that have been arrested for DUI may have a drinking problem.  Although this does not mean everyone facing DUI charges does, Judges frequently order those charged with DUI to attend AA classes as a condition of their own recognizance (OR) release or as a bail condition.  A convicted drunk driver may also have to attend AA classes as part of their probation (this is a required part of the California alcohol program classes, including AB541 (3 month program), AB762 (6 month program), AB1353 (9 month program, and SB38 (18 month program)).  Courts have weighed in on the legality of ordering AA classes and have found that a requirement that convicted drunk drivers attend AA meetings is constitutional only where non-religious alternatives are available. 

Not all persons facing DUI charges will be ordered to attend AA or SOS classes as a condition of OR or bail.  Judges have wide discretion on this issue.  If you have a prior DUI conviction, were involved in an accident, or have a high blood alcohol concentration as measured by a breath or blood test, it is more likely that the Court will order you to attend AA or SOS classes.  If you are ordered to attend AA classes, make sure that you use an AA sign in sheet to keep track of your attendance.  

If you have been arrested for DUI, CONTACT our office today for a free and confidential consultation.  DUI Lawyer Robert D. Berglund specializes in representing persons facing DUI charges.  Do not go to court alone and represent yourself.  

About the Author

Robert Berglund

Attorney Robert D. Berglund is dedicated to handling any and all traffic violations, including traffic infraction tickets, as well as misdemeanor criminal traffic violations, such as driving under the influence (DUI), driving on a suspended license, and reckless driving.


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