California DUI Laws
This was our third show, actually recorded the second night we started this whole podcast. We decided to do a show onÂ California DUI Laws. We originally wanted something we could record and reference later on to track Michelle’s progress through her recovery. The first 15 shows were interesting and had very little direction but were raw and filled with emotion and anxiety. So to listen to these brought back a lot of memories, especially to see where we are now 4 years later in recovery. She had been attending roughly 2-3 meetings per day, we had a lot of resentment towards one another and Michelle was talking like a programmed robot from her AA meetings. Now, before anyone gets offended by this comment, its important to note what i mean.
There comes a time in one’s sobriety where they wake up and “get it” obvious she was simply regurgitating what is said to her, or better yet, drilled into her head. The one thing i do not like about the AA program is the negativity towards newcomers. Perhaps, this is just a California thing, but one thing is for sure, when you have people attending meetings after 20 years, there tends to be a lot of negativity towards the newbies because of how many fail out the gate. What the veterans of AA fail to consider is, California mandates DUI first offenders to attend AA. Every meeting she was told she would fail, couldn’t make it through the program, etc. She would come home in tears and this just was not helping. She ended up having 2 sponsors within her first year. Both of them, were not as determined or strong as her. It is one thing if she was simply assigned AA mandated from court, but that was not the case. She was there on her own free will to become sober. It was just a god awful program for her and we set out to make something home based that worked better for her. Now i can understand the revolving door cliche’ at the AA meetings, but my god, they really manage to drive away honest people seeking to get help when you have the crusty old timers there with zero positive influence.
When you force people to do something against their will because of legal ramifications, you are failing the system out the gate. There are MANY cases of DUI offenders who do not have a drinking problem. They were simply attending a function and had a few too many and used poor judgement to get behind the wheel. In no way am i condoning drinking & driving, but for California to overstep their reach and force first offenders to attend AA is just stupid. California DUI Laws definitely need to be re-evaluated.
I have a better solution to this problem, so please hear me out. Here in CA, we have a HUGE illegal immigration program. The amount of benefits given to these people just blow me away that us tax payers have to foot the bill for. If these resources were actually shifted towards actual U.S citizens in need of aid in this state, we would have a lot less problems. For example, first offenders could be handled in the following way if they didn’t hurt/kill anyone or damage any property by crashing:
- Asked by the judge if they have a addiction problem. Yes or No answer will be required.
- If answered yes by the offender, ask if they would like to attended a state funded treatment program and if they successfully complete the program and maintain sobriety for 365 days+, they can petition to have the offense permanently expunged (CA automatically expunges after 7 years)
- State of California would save themselves a lot of money sponsoring addiction treatment and over a period of 10 years, reduce reoccurring DUI offenses and addiction related emergencies.
- For those who answer no, fine them and slap them very hard on a second offense if it ever occurs, such as mandated jail time.
Now, this was just a rough draft thought in my head during the writing of this post, but the bottom line here is, WE could help people rather than have a revolving door. I feel its time to help OUR people first, instead of people who came here illegally even if they are searching for a better life. It’s pretty irritating to say the least.
At any rate, AA in California from my experience has it’s good and bad. This is why we took some of the AA components, omitted other components, took bits and pieces of other programs and a few of our own things to develop a system that worked for Michelle. Its a full hybrid system that we’re slowly piecing together as a Sobriety Guide for others to try. We have 4 years of results to back it up and we are very excited to share it with people who are looking for self help or alternative avenues due to privacy, financial issues, new approaches or relapse.
Driving under the influence can either save your life or ruin it depending on how you look at it. If more people had friends that care to stop them from getting behind the wheel, the less incidents we would have, however… this is reality. We all make our choices in the end and have to live with those decisions. Addiction is an ugly thing and in today’s digital age, there are a plethora of options to seek help and assistance. We hope that what we are doing, can help at least one person.