Court Orders

You are not alone

You are not alone, and you are not the first. Many of us were sent to our first AA meetings by judges as a result of being arrested for drunken driving, family disputes, or some other problem involving alcohol. Some of us were sent here by our employers.

What is AA’s role in the process?

Alcoholics Anonymous is not part of the judicial system. We do not work with the courts or the police department. We do not ask the courts to send people to us. When people do show up with court papers, we are not responsible for making sure the people are sober.

If a judge, court, school, or employer has sent you to AA meetings, it is because they believe there is evidence that you have a drinking problem. We had nothing to do with their decision-in fact, AA has no opinion as to whether you have a drinking problem or not.

If, however, you want to stop drinking, AA has a solution.

Key points

  1. If you have a desire to stop drinking, you may consider yourself an AA member. Otherwise, you will be a welcome guest at Open meetings. Please do not attend Closed meetings if you don’t consider yourself a member or have a desire to stop drinking. In our printed Meeting Directory and on this Website all meetings are clearly marked as to whether they are Open or Closed. For further information please go to our Meetings section.
  2. While most groups will sign court papers, this is for each individual group to decide. Since AA is not allied with the court system, AA is not required to do the court’s work.
  3. If a chairperson or other group member agrees to sign your papers, they will probably sign with their first name or initials. We are personally anonymous. We are not court employees.
  4. If you have questions, please ask them before or after the meeting. You can always find someone willing to talk to you and answer your questions.
  5. In AA we honor all members’ anonymity. While you are free to talk about or use any ideas that you hear at a meeting, please do not ever identify any person you hear or see there.
  6. There are no dues or fees for AA membership. We are totally self-supporting through the voluntary contributions of our members.
  7. No one in AA can tell you that you are an alcoholic. Some people can point out indications that are symptomatic of a drinking problem: loss of control, drunk driving, arrests, lost jobs, broken marriages or relationships, blackouts, etc. But only you can decide if you actually are an alcoholic, and if that’s your decision, we invite you to keep coming back!

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