People who are convicted of drunk driving, certain cases of domestic violence under an inebriated state, or other alcohol-related convictions are sometimes mandated by the court to attend meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous.
The convict can also prefer enrolling in rehab or another program, but many convicts choose AA meetings. Maybe because they are free or maybe they are more comfortable with this choice. Moreover, meetings are available almost everywhere now.
If you or somebody you know has a court-mandated order to attend meetings, here are a few things that you or the person convicted must know:
Meeting a counselor
The court, in most states, does not send the person directly to the meeting. The court will send you to a probation office or counselor first. He or she will look over your case and see to it that you attend the meetings.
Alcohol screening test
Before you attend a meeting, you will undergo an alcohol screening test. This is to know your drinking patterns. It also reveals whether you truly have an alcohol problem or you were only drunk that day and committed the offense.
Number of meetings
After the screening and analysis of your case, the officer will determine the number of meetings you need. Repeat offenders must attend more numbers.
The signing of your card
You must have a card with you that shows the dates you attended the meeting to keep a record. The card should also be signed by the meeting chairperson.
As per the 12 traditions of AA, meetings are anonymous. So, there aren’t any signatures involved. Meetings don’t keep records of their members. However, in your case, you may attend an open meeting where you can sign in a card.
In a meeting, you need not talk about your offense and court orders. No meeting mandates people to share what they don’t feel comfortable sharing. Nobody will look down upon you because you are a convict.
People are gathered in a meeting with one common goal: to quit drinking.
This is because everybody in the meeting has or had the same problem: alcoholism.
Members do not judge or dig details about a person’s past or present. Perhaps one of the reasons why AA is a success since its inception in 1935 is that members respect each other. They strictly follow the traditions.
Turning in your card
Once your fixed number of meetings is over, you get the card signed in by the meeting chairperson as proof of your attendance. Then, you give the card to your probation officer for court submission.
Many convicts changed their life for the better after attending an AA meeting in Oregon. Yet, there are also people who attended only as a chore, to follow the court’s orders.
Ultimately, it depends on you what you make out of the opportunity that life sends you.
Searching for a meeting?
You can easily find one in your area by using meeting locators or directories online.