Cherokee County is lucky to have two juvenile judges who “get it.” An ounce of prevention, the saying goes, and in my experience Judge Sumner and Judge Baker do what they can to conform to that ideology. I am lucky enough to serve as a Guardian Ad Litem and I can tell you from personal experience that if you catch problems early, the child can be saved…saved from horrible jail conditions, saved from hopelessness, saved from the horrible peer pressures of gangs and meth, the two most destructive forces I’ve seen in this county. Indeed, one of my clients who was struggling with meth killed himself after I got him released from jail. I don’t go a day without thinking about it, re-living the nightmare. What if? I wish Sumner and Baker were in his life before he became an adult, maybe something could have been done…but the point is this: all is not lost with these two in charge. And parents who give up on their own kids because they fell, the parents that want the Judges to raise their kids…as disturbing as that is, your child will be in good hands until you get better. Get better.
First of all, I am known to kick back a few now and then. And doing so is fine so long as one maintains control. Sadly, a few don’t.
One day I was enjoying a cigar on the porch of a local cigar shop. A police officer rolled up and parked directly in front of me. “I’m bored,” he said out the window. We got to talking and we got on the discussion of marijuana and alcohol. He explained that marijuana arrests are rare here in Cherokee. Especially compared to alcohol-related arrests. “I’d say 95% of calls we get are alcohol-involved,” he said.
I don’t doubt it. A large chunk, maybe a majority, of my cases involved alcohol. Whether it’s DUI, domestic violence (this one is huge), or just doing something totally stupid, alcohol is a common factor. And the Courts here in Cherokee treat it as such. Pot may get you 10 days in jail and that’s it. A DUI can get your license suspended, $1855 fine, jail, probation for a year or two, risk reduction courses, DUI Court observation, substance abuse violation, and random drug and alcohol screens for a year or more! Now, I’m not saying go out and smoke some weed and empty your beers into the toilet; rather, if you’re going to drink, drink smart and responsibly. Because this County is no joke. And if you do mess up, seek legal counsel immediately! He/she may be able to help save your license.