Brenda Geers may have to revisit Step One in her Alcoholic Anonymous program. Geers not only hit an eighteen-year-old college student in Boulder, Colorado but crashed into St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church while driving drunk to her Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
Geers first hit a food truck in the parking lot and then hit Eric Anderson who was sitting at a table. She then continued on to smash into the church. Thankfully, Anderson survived.
Geers now faces charges of vehicular assault and DUI. These cases often raise the tension of punishing such heinous crimes and acknowledging that a defendant has an addiction and was in a program trying to overcome it. Should Geers to to jail in your view?
39 thoughts on “Colorado Woman Drives Drunk, Hits Teen, Crashes Into Church . . . On The Way To Her AA Meeting”
I think part of the disconnect we have over this question is the fact that for years we grew up with the concept of the ‘town drunk’ and the drunk tank (Otis on Mayberry RFD comes to mind). He was treated as a sort of humourous character who would show up drunk, ‘sleep it off’, and then go about his business until the next time. The reality, of course, is much different. When I was working the ER all those years, I can’t think of more than a VERY few cases of truly horrific automobile accidents where, at least one of the victims didn’t have alcohol on their breath. Should she do jail time? She hit a teenager who was not even driving, but sitting at an outside table eating. That ALONE should require jail time. I realise that this women has an illness, but that illness could have cost this teen his life. Should a diabetic who doesn’t take his/her medication and goes into shock because ot it and ends up hurting someone on the road go to jail? Of course they should. Crimminal negligence at least. Lest you think that I have no compassion for these people let me state that YEARS ago, I myself was pulled over for DUI. I knew I was wrong, I did my required time in our lovely ‘Tent City’ (thank godd it was only 24 hours) and have never had the slightest urge to re-offend. Been there, done that.
How do you people live in your own minds? She needs to be strapped to a train track and let a drunk train conductor run her over. That would save the expense to the state and future embarrassment to the family.
And if she doesn’t behave, feed her to the orcs.
Jail time, not prison, with treatment.
Frankly, Amen. And prosecute the criminal behavior w/ proper treatment as stated by MikeS.
Mike, Thanks for your prospective, that was enlightening.
Shelly, I use a similar comparison about drunk driving and random gun fire. One garners long prison terms and the other is just a brief stay, often in nights only county lockup even when it caused deaths. It is changing slightly and slowly but more needs to be done.
Nick, If it sounds like an excuse it probably is. The hunt for why people become addicted and how they can overcome it is really still in its infancy. Other conditions like depression, bi-polar or genetics may have a hand in addiction. Those need to be treated. But we all have our problems don’t we. If some other condition “makes me drink” thats just not owning up to the problem. Treat the condition and the addiction.
Yep, but I am old enough to have seen a given diagnosis overused before they move on to the next one. It is not a diagnosis I would want as the meds have lots of side effects including weight gain.
SWM, Do you think it’s being overused?
nick, They are now using the term bi-polar to encompass mood disorders that are not as severe as the classic manic depressive. In any case, that is what I have observed.
MikeS, I would like your thoughts. In recent years there seems to be a big upswing in the diagnosis of bipolar for addicts/alcoholics. Some take a perverse comfort in the diagnosis w/ the pat line, “I’m bipolar and I self medicate.” Now, I believe that is sometimes indeed the case. However, of late it there seems to be a significant uptick in this diagnosis, vis a vis addicts. Your thoughts?
As someone who has actively worked in treating people with addictions I can confidently state that my “success” rate was about 20%. This is normal for what has become the “Addiction Industry”. Obviously 20% is is an awful measure of “success” and reflects the difficulty of addiction treatment. My time doing it certainly proved to me that I wasn’t as smart as I thought I was. Other professionals in the field have yet to have learned that lesson, or become so jaded that they can’t admit their own failures even to themselves.
From my perspective and many others, a basic tenet of fighting ones addiction is the acceptance of responsibility for ones actions. You do not get to use your addiction as an excuse for reprehensible behavior. This woman deserves prison time, but the methods of incarceration for addicts need to be revised. To put a person such as this into a general prison population is to put a lamb among wolves. However, as long as we pursue the insane “War on Drugs” we will not be able to clearly understand the problem well enough to fix it. The WOD has the underlying premise that getting “High” is immoral and that premise poisons the thought processes of those who would deal with it. Inebriation of various sorts has been with humanity for untold ages. It is inebriation with harmful consequences to others that should be society’s concern.
I this instance, given that the remedies are limited, this woman should face prison time. One could only hope that in the future we will grow enough as a society to do away with our WOD and treat the problems of addicts endangering others in a way that will both punish their activity and work towards resolving their addiction.
I do not think incarceration should be had…. Treatment… Yes…. How many people have double standards….. I did the same thing…. But caused no damage….. Hypocrisy, I tell you…..
As an aside, Brenda Geers looks like Shelley Duvall.
I live in Wisconsin which has a horrible alcohol problem, probably worst in the lower 48[I don’t think any state could top Alaska]. It’s based in the prior century where the beer industry was a top dog in the state. However, even as the beer industry has waned somewhat in Wisconsin, the legacy remains. I am not Carrie Nation, I like to drink. Our local newspaper, to it’s credit, has taken this issue head on. Legislators from both sides of the aisle have been cowards in this regard. The first DUI in Wisconsin is a civil offense..akin to an ordinance violation. On virtually a daily basis, the newspaper prints stories of people having their 10th, 12th violation. They seem to have put the cut off @ 5th offense. I never read any stories of people below that. This is a travesty.
I guess Brenda Geers has forfeited the “anonymous” @ her meetings. That’s not to denigrate AA, it has saved peoples lives.
The elderly are suffering from an epidemic of alcoholism, and it is often complicated by health issues. There are very few treatment centers that focus on the needs of the elderly. Most of the centers focus on the young.
“The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.” The lady, perhaps, had a desire to quit but she could not. It is not unusual for someone to show up drunk an AA meeting. Drunks drink. She should be accountable and undoubtebly will be.
there are other ways to get to her meeting. the bus, her sponsor, a taxi, walking. never mind the fact that you’re not supposed to attend an AA meeting if you are under the influence. Her addiction is to alcohol. She CHOSE to drive her car while under the influence of alcohol. YES, she should be held accountable for her actions – those of choosing the drive her car while intoxicated.
Driving drunk is no different than taking a loaded gun to the mall and randomly firing it into the crowd. Both are acts that can hurt and kill people, and both are acts of extreme selfishness.
I don’t give a darn for someone’s addiction. People do manage to overcome their addiction and do so without hurting or killing someone.
Those that can’t have to be held accountable for their actions.
They probably have both AA and church in prison.
This lady need an online AA course!
Comments are closed.