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Walked out of an AA meeting tonight

Old 09-27-2017, 01:31 PM
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To the best of my knowledge, it is the proscribed legal 'remedy' in many many jurisdictions here in the US.
Why , I wonder, do not more groups stand on principle and in recognition of that tradition bow out of such designation, or is there an organized effort to do so ?
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Old 10-04-2017, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by dwtbd View Post
To the best of my knowledge, it is the proscribed legal 'remedy' in many many jurisdictions here in the US.
Why , I wonder, do not more groups stand on principle and in recognition of that tradition bow out of such designation, or is there an organized effort to do so ?
AA’s tradition six in the long form shows that cooperation rather than affiliation, with outside entities is acceptable. Tradition five states that the groups single purpose is to carry the message to the alcoholic who still suffers, and there has been a lot of successful cooperation over the years with all sorts of organisations and institutions.

Tradition four means that each group can decide for itself what it will be involved in, and tradition three means that individual members are not compelled to do anything.

On a personal level I don’t support attendance at AA being part of a sentence, or the soft option between a choice of jail or AA. I don’t sign the papers. We have an institution for last gaspers where they also send prisoners for the last few months for their sentence. It is an awful environment in which virtually no one finds recovery. Anyone showing signs of progress is quickly pulled back down by the group. The prisoners are very disruptive.

I think a better approach would be for the courts to set up classes for their offenders, and invite AA to send a couple of speakers along to appropriate sessions. They could also invite speakers from other programs, and those prisoners that are interested can go to whatever organisation appeals. How ever, this would not be a cheap option, and I would speculate that cheapness is one attraction of indiscriminately sending undiagnosed offenders to AA.

I can also understand why AA as a whole doesn’t shut the door on this. There is the feeling that we wouldn’t want to alienate the court system and risk the opportunity to recover being lost to the genuine cases.
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Old 10-04-2017, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by dwtbd View Post
To the best of my knowledge, it is the proscribed legal 'remedy' in many many jurisdictions here in the US.
Why , I wonder, do not more groups stand on principle and in recognition of that tradition bow out of such designation, or is there an organized effort to do so ?
AA's history of cooperation with the court system dates back to 1942.

See:

MG-05 - A.A. Guidelines on Cooperating with Court, D.W.I. and Similar Programs

MG-05 - A.A. Guidelines on Cooperating with Court, D.W.I. and Similar Programs (PDF)


Since the professional community has been alluded to in this thread, this may also be of interest:

MG-11 - A.A. Guidelines on Cooperation With the Professional Community

MG-11 - A.A. Guidelines on Cooperation With the Professional Community (PDF)
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Old 10-05-2017, 06:35 PM
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That's a lot of attraction.
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Old 10-09-2017, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Gottalife View Post
On a personal level I don’t support attendance at AA being part of a sentence, or the soft option between a choice of jail or AA. I think a better approach would be for the courts to set up classes for their offenders, and invite AA to send a couple of speakers along to appropriate sessions. They could also invite speakers from other programs, and those prisoners that are interested can go to whatever organisation appeals. How ever, this would not be a cheap option, and I would speculate that cheapness is one attraction of indiscriminately sending undiagnosed offenders to AA.

Mike, I'm surprised that folks in the US may avoid a jail sentence by attending AA. I agree with your stance on signing papers. In light of your above comments, you may be interested in how differently the UK court system operates. Prison sentences are only imposed upon recidivist offenders, fatal/catastrophic collisions etc. The imposed prison sentence may not be avoided by participation in AA or any other alcohol group.

For the majority of non-aggravated DUIs, the court orders a driving disqualification, imposes a fine, (or community service) and in addition, at its discretion, the court may offer the offender the opportunity to attend a "Drink Drive Rehabilitation Scheme" course (DDRS).

The DDRS course is run by commercial companies, following a published syllabus, ruled by legislation. If the DDRS offer is accepted, the offender should attend a 3 day course run over 3 weeks; the cost is £150-250, which is paid by the offender. The take up rate is huge, because, once the course is completed, Court then reduces the attendees driving disqualification period by a quarter. The aim is to educate and the published statistics seem positive.

The DDRS syllabus is comprehensive and set out in Units: "1 - Understand the use of alcohol use in relation to driving" and 2- "Change alcohol use in relation to driving". Regarding Unit 1' the syllabus and gives guidance to the course providers:

"This unit recognises that many of those exercising the option to participate in a DDRS course do not have a ‘drink problem’ as defined by the World Health Organisation; they do not engage in drinking that exceeds the government’s sensible drinking limits. Therefore this unit is not intended to be a ‘therapeutic’ or ‘clinical’ intervention. It is not intended to stop them drinking. However, the unit also recognises that some participants may well exceed those limits.
Participants completing this unit should gain a more realistic understanding of the way they use alcohol in relation to driving. In achieving this understanding they are also likely to gain a more realistic understanding of the way they use alcohol generally, which may lead them to think about the implications for their general health. This unit is not designed to deal with general health issues. However, it is reasonable that a participant should be able to ask for simple guidance about where they might seek further support if they feel they need it."

This seems reasonable and I would hope the course trainers signpost the sources of 'further support'.
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Old 10-10-2017, 05:40 AM
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Seems reasonable to me Tatsy. Getting a dui may be a consequence of alcoholism, but is not a symptom. I never got caught dui. They seem to have very severe penalties in the states don’t they, at least that is what I gather reading here.

The system you describe in the UK sounds very sensible.
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Old 10-10-2017, 04:30 PM
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Dui

I received my first DUI at age 55. Then a second one at age 59. I find myself at 62, grateful that no one was killed/hurt. Stop now. I am lucky that anyone in my family even speaks to me.
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Old 10-11-2017, 03:38 PM
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Awake, are you in the US and if so, were you imprisoned after the first DUI, or after the second one?
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Old 10-13-2017, 06:16 AM
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Hi - I live in New England USA - I was imprisoned after the second DUI in a work program for women. My lawyer kept me out of jail. He saw no purpose would come from me serving time!
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Old 10-13-2017, 06:55 AM
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On my, it's surprising how differently the UK deals with drink driving. A second offence wouldn't attract a jail sentence. The U.K. 3 day course deals with educational and preventative measures to stop reoffending, rather than punitive.

What is the difference between imprisonment in a women's work program and jail? Isn't imprisonment the same as jail? I hope you don't mind me asking. I'm glad your lawyer saved you from jail, if it's worse than prison.
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Old 10-13-2017, 09:34 AM
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From my experience, the influence of AA's overt connection to other institutions is quite secondary to the covert influence upon politics, government, and healthcare (and now American society overall) that AA beliefs have had due to the combination of step 12 and tradition 11, which essentially says in order to not drink, you must proselytize for AA in all your affairs and at the same time radio, press, and film cannot divulge that you are an AA member. It's been a slow but effective massive stealth-like indoctrination process.

I would have suggested to Mentium four years ago to learn a little bit about the Stockholm Syndrome and compare that to his experience in recovery groups. I did that for myself and it was another "step" in letting go of past baggage and move ahead in my own life.
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Old 10-13-2017, 05:22 PM
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OMG GerandTwine! Do you really believe the people "must proselytize for AA"? That "radio, press, and film cannot divulge that you are an AA member"? and that "Stockholm Syndrome" has the slightest thing to do with AA?!?! LOL WOW Your misunderstanding of AA (like your misunderstanding of U.S. news organizations) is amazing .
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Old 10-13-2017, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by awuh1 View Post
OMG GerandTwine! Do you really believe the people "must proselytize for AA"? That "radio, press, and film cannot divulge that you are an AA member"? and that "Stockholm Syndrome" has the slightest thing to do with AA?!?! LOL WOW Your misunderstanding of AA (like your misunderstanding of U.S. news organizations) is amazing .
a1,
Thank you for your opinion.
GT
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Old 10-14-2017, 05:27 AM
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Yes, working in a women' s group was better than jail time. I still do not have my drivers license. Can get that back in eight more months. All hell I brought upon myself - but I am so grateful that no one was hurt or killed. The social isolation has been hard, though, as I live in the woods and not much is available to do, other then read, write and try and stay sober. I am able visit my grandchildren at times. Thank goodness.
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Old 10-14-2017, 06:03 AM
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Grandchildren must be such a blessing. Maybe in the future I'll have some, and now that I've stopped drinking, maybe I'll live to meet them!

Roll on the next eight months, so you can regain your freedom to travel out of the woods. It does sound peaceful, but very restrictive without transport, I guess.
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Old 10-14-2017, 10:17 PM
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With regards to a DUI in the States: One of the first things many lawyers recommend is the person immediately start attending AA meetings. Depending on if it is the first offense or not going to meetings often scores points with the judicial system.
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Old 10-15-2017, 06:07 AM
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Unless many lawyers are members, I'd say that is evidence of promotion and political machinations.
They should just reinforce the obvious and tell the offenders to stop driving, voluntarily relinquish their driving privilege before going before a judge to show contrition.
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Old 10-15-2017, 11:32 AM
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Hi Ken33xx, thank you for clarifying the US system. I hadn't realised AA attendance was voluntary, after a DUI, with an eye on securing a lesser sentence.

From what I read on SR, the US Courts mandated DUIs to attend AA and in compliance , to have court slips signed, as evidence of such compliance with the mandate (compulsory court order).
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Old 10-15-2017, 01:54 PM
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Tatsy
It's even more confusing than you'd think, lol. Driving privileges are under the jurisdiction of the individual states, so 50 sets of rules( or 52 ish counting U.S. V.I.and Puerto Rico).
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Old 10-15-2017, 02:27 PM
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Yes - my state suggested I attend AA meetings. But my probation officer said he understood why I didn't attend them, as there are hardly any near where I live. The few that are in the area are extremely religious oriented and not many attend them, when I have gone. Just felt uncomfortable, especially when one lady said to me"oh here you go again." Not very helpful. Much better for me to watch some great UTUBE shows and come here. Thank you!
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