Further Reading

Who says books don't help people?

Dear Stanton:

After being convicted of a first-time DWI and being sentenced to alcohol screening and treatment, I got the judge to agree to a non 12-step program. (This took quite a bit of doing...with help from your books and Website!) My question is, can the court extend my probation on the grounds that I have asked for this nonreligious counseling? If I go to 12-step meetings and/or programs, they have sentenced me to 2 years probation. Now they say that I have to have at least 3 years. Isn't this punitive? Do I have recourse to challenge this?

Thanks for all your past help. I have gotten the probation office in this town closed down and the procedures in all the offices in Alaska changed so far with information from you. Even the judge told my public defender that he should listen to me. (I gave him your book.) The head of all the alcohol screening programs in Alaska has put out a blanket statement that if I contact any Alaskan office, to accommodate me -- I think I scared them!

Do you think it would be advisable to write a letter to the paper to inform others in my situation of their rights -- the ones that the court and probation office neglect to tell you

Heather Anne Welle Wilder


Dear Heather:

"Can the court extend my probation on the grounds that I have asked for this nonreligious counseling?"

NOO!! Of course not. That is bias against someone for seeking a nonreligious alternative, which violates the entire concept of offering a defendant an equal chance to choose a non-sectarian alternative to AA or the 12 steps! If the court doesn't realize this, it not only doesn't understand the constitution, but the most basic rules of impartiality and fairness. You have all the same grounds for attacking this judgment as you would in the original case if they would have only allowed you to select a 12-step alternative.

"I have gotten the probation office in this town closed down and the procedures in all the offices in Alaska changed so far with information from you. Even the judge told my public defender that he should listen to me. (I gave him your book.) The head of all the alcohol screening programs in Alaska has put out a blanket statement that if I contact any Alaskan office, to accommodate me -- I think I scared them!"

Boy, are you my kind of reader! Who says that writing a book doesn't empower people?

"Do you think it would be advisable to write a letter to the paper to inform others in my situation of their rights -- the ones that the court and probation office neglect to tell you."

Absolutely. It sounds educational for you and readers. You can help people, and expand the entire state's knowledge base.

I'm a fan of yours!

Stanton