Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and woman who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problems 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 help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.*

*Reprinted from the A.A. Grapevine©

Millions of people have found recovery though 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.  While some who are sent to A.A. attend the required meetings and never come back, many others keep coming back because they find that A.A. helps them live without alcohol. 

A.A. is NOT part of the court system.  We do not work for the courts or police.  We do not ask the courts to send people to us.  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 an A.A. meeting, it is because they believe there is evidence that you may have a drinking problem.  We had nothing to do with their decision, but A.A. does provide meeting  information to interested parties.  


¬You are a welcomed guest 

¬When attending a meeting, you should keep in mind that the courts do not consider statements made there to be privileged.  Speaking at an AA meeting is not like speaking to your doctor, lawyer, clergyman, psychologist, or therapist.  While AA's principle of anonymity encourages members to remain publicly silent about those whom they have seen at meetings and about what they have heard them say, this principle confers no legally recognized immunity against being called to testify in criminal and civil cases.

Since the statements made in meetings are not legally protected, members can be compelled to testify in court about what they have heard you say. This is quite a rare occurrence, but it has been known to happen.  So, if you have committed a crime that has not already been adjudicated and settled through the courts, or if you fear that you might have committed a crime, do not openly discuss it at a meeting. The same applies to civil suits of any kind.

Remember, too, that alcoholism affects members of all professions, and that you might be sitting next to a law enforcement official or social worker, who would be duty bound to take action when informed that a crime has been committed.

So, do yourself and everyone else a favor and discuss such matters only with the appropriate people and in the appropriate setting.  That way none of us will be in for any unpleasant surprises.

¬After  the meeting is over, ask the chairperson to sign your card.  While most meetings will sign court cards, some will not.  It’s up to each individual group to decide.  Since A.A. is not allied with the court system A.A. is not required to do the courts work. We are not court employees.

¬If a meeting chairperson or group member offers to sign your court card they will probably just sign their first name or initials.  We are personally anonymous.   

¬Many meetings are “open” where anyone is welcome to attend.  Some meetings are “closed” which means it is for alcoholics only.  Ask for a meeting schedule which will list where and when all the meetings are. 

¬If you have any questions, please ask them before the meeting starts, during a break or when the meeting is over.  You can always find someone willing to talk about A.A. and answer your questions. 

¬In A.A. we honor all members’ anonymity.  While you are free to take, talk about or use any ideas that you hear at meetings, please do not ever identify anyone you heard or saw here. 

¬The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.

¬There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership. We are self supporting though our own voluntary contributions.  We pass the basket at every meeting to pay our rent and expenses.


No one in A.A. can tell you that you are an alcoholic.  Some people may point out indications that you have symptoms of a drinking problem—loss of control, drunk driving, arrests, lost jobs, broken marriages or relationship, blackouts, the shakes and so forth.  But only you can decide if you are actually an alcoholic.  If you determine that you are an alcoholic, we invite you to keep coming back.

We are here to help anyone, regardless of how they got here, to achieve sobriety.  It is part of what we call our Twelfth Step work in  A.A.  If you have decided you want what we have, just keep coming back.