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Treatment for alcoholism in California

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Anders Johnson
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In California, Proposition 36 allows a defendant to obtain treatment for drug addiction in certain drug related offenses.  However, the courts have determined that Proposition 36 does not apply to those charged with DUI.  This is true even if the underlying intoxicant in the DUI charge is drugs.

Does this make sense?  The purpose of Proposition 36 is to not assist people with addictions, but also reduce the court caseloads in California.  However, California courts have held that the purpose of the DUI laws is to impose criminal consequences for driving a motor vehicle while impaired. 

Thus, in California, the only "treatment" one gets after a DUI is the alcohol offender program.  Hardly the kind of treatment that some people may need.  And with no "reward" or incentive, such as dismissal of the DUI charge, to encourage successful completion and long lasting results.

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