Twelve-step programs are everywhere, especially in California. Most convicted DUI offenders in our state are ordered to participate in a drug and alcohol “education and counseling” program. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has become the default treatment for alcoholism in our culture. If you’re charged with DUI in southern California, an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney may be able to have your charge reduced – or in some cases dropped entirely – but if the evidence against you is overwhelming, drug and alcohol education and counseling are probably going to be a part of your sentence.

Leave it to a professor from Harvard University to tell us we’ve been doing it all wrong. Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Lance Dodes is the author of The Sober Truth, a controversial new book which argues that alcohol treatment isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. Dr. Dodes claims that AA’s success rate is only five to ten percent. Many rehab programs and facilities claim higher success rates, but the truth is that most programs and facilities don’t keep track of their “graduates” for any longer than twelve months.

Dodes argues that addiction is primarily psychological rather than physiological. His primary example is American soldiers who became heroin addicts in Vietnam. When they returned from war, most quit heroin easily, while the addicts in New York and Los Angeles have had far less success. Dodes argues that changing the environment and gaining back control of one’s own life was the key to success for the soldiers rather than any treatment or counseling. If you’re addicted to any substance, Dr. Dodes recommends changing your life – not changing your therapist.

Meanwhile, whether you’re addicted to alcohol and charged with DUI, or if you’re only an occasional drinker charged with DUI after a rare couple of drinks, you’re going to need serious, skilled legal assistance. In addition to treatment, sentences for DUI offenders can include jail, fines, a driver’s license suspension, installation of an IID device on your vehicle, and harsh probation terms. While the outcome of a criminal case can never be guaranteed, if you’re charged with DUI in the southern California area, your best hope for genuine justice is to obtain the advice and services of an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney immediately.