Ordered to Attend AA?

You’re Not Alone, and You’re Not the First

Many of us were sent to our first A.A. meetings by judges as a result of being arrested for drunk driving, family disputes, or some other problem involving alcohol. Some of them were sent here by our employers.

If you’re coming to A.A. for these reasons, you probably have some questions.

We hope these statements will answer some of your questions.

Here’s What A.A. Says About A.A.

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of people who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.*

Alcoholics Anonymous is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization, or institution.*

Our primary purpose is to stay sober and to help other alcoholics achieve sobriety.*

*Reprinted with permission from the A.A. Grapevine.


No one can tell you that you are an alcoholic. People may point out indications that you have a drinking problem … loss of control, drunk driving, arrests, lost jobs, broken marriages or relationships, blackouts, the shakes, etc. Only you can decide if you are an alcoholic. If you decide that you maybe an alcoholic, then we invite you to to check out A.A., observe and make a decision, you are always welcome to keep coming back.

Millions of people have found recovery through A.A., including many who were sent by the courts or their employers. There are A.A. meetings in virtually every country in the world, from Australia to Zambia and from Ireland to Russia. Here is a listing of local meetings, both online and in-person.

While some who are sent to A.A. attend the required meetings and never come back, others keep coming back because they find that A.A. helps them live a beautiful life without alcohol.

A.A. is not part of the court system. We do work well with the courts and the law enforcement. We do not ask the courts to send people to A.A. And when people do show up with court cards, we are not responsible for making sure they are sober.

If a judge, court, school, or employer has sent you to A.A. meetings, it is because they believe there is evidence that you may have a drinking problem. We were not involved with their decision, but A.A. does provide a solution or recovery from alcoholism to interested persons.

When You Come to Visit A.A.

  • You are a welcome guest.
  • While most meetings will sign court cards, some do not. It’s up to each individual meeting to decide. Since A.A. is not allied with the court system, A.A. is not required to do the court’s work. If you arrive at a meeting early, ask the secretary or leader if they will sign your card. If a meeting leader or secretary agrees to sign your court card, they will probably sign their first name or initials. We honor your and our anonymity. We are not court employees.
  • Many meetings are open where anyone may attend. Some meetings are closed which are for alcoholics only.
  • If you have any questions, please ask them before the meeting starts, during a meeting break, or when it is over. You can always find someone willing to talk to you.
  • The alcoholic men and women who voluntarily attend regular A.A. meetings come from all walks of life, many have have similar stories.
  • In A.A., we respect all member’s anonymity. While you are free to take, repeat, and use any ideas or concepts you hear at a meeting, please do not identify anyone you heard or saw there.
  • The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.
  • There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership. We are fully self-supporting through our own contributions. We pass the basket to pay our rent and expenses.