Trish Groe Confronts a Sobering Reality


I’ve struggled with what and how to write the news that Representative Trish Groe was recently arrested for DUI and has decided to take a leave of absence to check into rehab.

Its even more difficult since I consider her a friend and one of the most personable legislators at the capitol.

But there’s no excusing what she’s done and the law should treat each person the same no matter what their party affiliation or ideology.

Trish Gore has been a solid conservative vote in the House of Representatives. Shortly after she was first elected, she was enlightened by her Senate seat mate, Ron Gould, and became one more conservative and pro-life vote. We all applauded her and supported her.

In today’s Republic, she is quoted as saying, “I am so grateful to those officers who pulled me over. I’m thankful to God that I didn’t injure or kill anyone. Somehow, I’m going to take away something good from this.”

While I do not condone her problem, I must applaud her acknowledgement that she has fallen and more importantly, that she is seeking help.

That takes real courage, especially when you’re in the public arena.

Trish Groe has undoubtedly arrived at a sobering reality check. Like Trish, we should all be reminded that we are vulnerable and suceptible to mistakes big and small. Its how we respond that makes us a better and stronger person.

Trish Groe is doing the right thing and I support and pray for her. I ask you to do the same.


Comments

  1. Charles Manning says:

    You are so wrong. I am a conservative voter. It doesn’t take courage to enter rehab. It takes the decision to do the right thing for her personal physical and mental well being. Courage would be for Trish Groh to leave office immediately. Suppress her ego and let a sober, qualified replacement represent the people. She had no choice but to acknowledge her problem. She already had lied when she said she had NO previous DUI convictions. It had to be discovered by a reporter. She also broke the law driving without a license. Stop defending her!! Courage? Oh, please
    Chas Manning

  2. Granted.

  3. kralmajales says:

    What? She had more than one DUI?

    Hell, and with all this stuff in the legislature about being tough on crime and drug testing people and all that.

    This kind of thing makes all that sound like the garbage.

    I agree. She should resign or the party should treat others in similar positions with the same kind of care, rehabilitation, and therapuetic mentality that is being extended to her.

    Frankly, I would go with the latter if I thought it didn’t just apply to her.

  4. Observer says:

    Kralmajales,

    Where is the special treatment here? Nothing special is being extended to her. She made the choice to get treatment and she is paying for it. How is that special treatment when she is still facing the same charges whether she gets treatment or not.

    What your lefty friends down at the Legislature want is to give DUI offenders treatment, paid for by the state. Big difference from what Groe is doing.

  5. kralmajales says:

    Oh I see, Observer. I just want to see how they all treat her. They typically demonize those who drink and drive while they up up up the penalties. Now, they huddle around her crying and talking about it as a disease.

    Disgusting…the irony.

    Well is it a disease? Is it a crime? Is it both?

    I don’t see how this can be defended. Twice the limit, expired license, and a prior.

    I think it is great that she is getting treatment…honestly. Maybe she can redeem herself, BUT I hope that she goes to the same prison that my friend went to when he was caught. He was not a legislator. He paid for his crime like everyone else…stiff penalties that she no doubt continues to vote to raise.

    Sorry…this should just plain piss everyone off. It is an embarassment.

  6. Much to say but really overwhelmed…so very sorry but thankful. All that has been reported is not true but don’t have the time or strength to dispute all that is being said. Entering faith-based rehab tomorrow morning. If anyone who reads this is a person of faith…please pray for me AND for my husband. As my protector, he is discouraged and downtrodden with each and every hit I take. I have betrayed the trust of all who depend on me…I don’t expect anything but the punishment I deserve. I am sorry…

  7. Dear Trish,

    You are definitely in our prayers as you go through this trial. But keep in mind the grace of God is far more overwhelming than any guilt and remorse you have even though you will have to pay the price in the eyes of men.

    DSW

  8. Sonoran Truth Squad says:

    You’ll be fine Trish, if you do what needs to be done! It is a disease that will be with you for the rest of your life, so you’ll never get to stop fighting it, but your friends, family, and supporters will be praying for you and helping you wherever we can.

    Ignore those on these sites who want to jump all over you because you’re a conservative. Kral and the rest of his pals think Ted Kennedy is a rockstar, and, well… I think we know how Ted’s story turned out…

    Stay positive, keep praying, and we’ll see you soon!

  9. Sonoran Truth Squad says:

    And Kral has it wrong on the expired… That was from the old beef in CA and it was tossed… This was a straight up DUI… Doesn’t make it right, but there’s no need to try and make it seem worse than it is just so you can pile on, vent, and make yourself feel better…

    You and your lefty buddies are always campaigning for early release, relaxing mandatory minimums and generally coddling lawbreakers anyway… Strange that it takes a pro-life conservative to get your panties in a bunch…

  10. Nightcrawler says:

    Trish,

    The world is littered with famous people and politicians who have fallen from grace. Getting behind the wheel in that condition was a potentially deadly decision for which you must be punished. Having said that, no one has the right to pass judgment on what for you must be a very difficult struggle. You do have friends in the party and this too shall pass. Chin up, take your lashes and move on. All things are possible, if you have faith.

  11. “All have sinned and fall short…” Alcoholism is a cruel and conflicting disease, our society is full of reasons to drink; social, celebratory, accompanying food, business, not to mention the emotional aspect of drinking. Yet if you are afflicted with the silent and invisible disease of alcoholism when and where do you realize your choices are now very different and your life must be, also.

    Who wants to admit they are weak and helpless in their control of something seemingly so much a part of a normal life. Especially when that person is a person of discipline and pride in who and what they are? Is the concern over the possibility of the stigma of being an alcoholic, not to mention the personal fear of coming face to face with that realization, a deterrent in the mind of an ill and deeply troubled person? A person with a disease of addiction that becomes as much a part of their being as their own skin.

    If you have ever known someone, loved someone, who is/was an alcoholic you can understand the struggle. If you have ever lost someone to a drunk driver you can understand the outrage. It would seem a deliverance of sorts happened on that road, the others on the road were delivered from a potential danger and a person in need of deliverance from her demons….was.

    We should all be thankful and hopeful. It was the best possible outcome.

  12. kralmajales says:

    “You and your lefty buddies are always campaigning for early release, relaxing mandatory minimums and generally coddling lawbreakers anyway…”

    Just about every, every mention on this blog except for that of Mr. Manning has been coddling, loving, caring, and warm towards Ms. Groe for her “disease”, her “mistake” and her looking forward until when she is “back”. That RARELY happens…RARELY happens when it is not one of your own. You MUST admit that.

    Well, yeah, there are indeed some crimes where context matters and some situations where a disease is the predominant problem and the person needs help with it. That is for sure. That is why maybe Ms. Groe will be lucky enough to enter a Drug Court or substance abuse treatment court to help her with her addiction and maybe erase the offense at the end. But OH YEAH…that is waste of tax dollars and judicial activism and liberalism at its WORST, right?

    So, I am guessing that most of you here feel that her disease, her apology, and her mistake is no excuse and that she should get the stiffest of penalties the state offers, right? Boy you had BETTER because if you don’t then you are the biggest hypocrite I have yet to see. Twice the legal limit, driving on a suspended license, and a possible previous DUI.

    I am sorry. I DO think people make mistakes. They absolutely do. To redeem ones self through religion, good works, and faith is just plain wonderful. Nothing wrong with any of that and there is also no reason for society to help a little.

    Yes, I am grousing a bit here because most of the laws that conservatives advocate against those who break the law does not share this kind of kindness, warmness, and the ability to wrap around someone and make them whole again. If she gets the prison or jail that is waiting for her, she will find Sheriff’s like Arpaio who advocate the stiffest of punishment, black and white uniforms, outside accommodations, and baloney sandwhiches. NOT drug treatment, mental health treatment, and rarely job training or education anymore. Maybe Ms. Groe will come to see this if she didn’t support it before.

    None of the penalties many of you advocate leave room for treatment, or even the consideration that every situation is different. THAT is what mandatory minimums are all about…no tolerance. Well, I wonder what no tolerance will mean here for Ms. Groe and if it will serve her and her family in the same way it does others. A shame.

    Again, maybe you all do really believe that Ms. Groe should face the stiffest of penalties on this one, but I am betting the circumstances will be fought hard with the very LAWYERS that many of you so often denounce. The DUI LAWYER who works the system to fight injustices like whether she had a previous DUI or not, or a suspended license or not, if her actions were really harmful to others, whether the cops trumped up the charges or made a mistake when administering the test, or once convicted if her community service to this state mitigates the effect of her crime and its punishment.

    I hope that Ms. Groe’s “legal diffuculty” here reminds you that other people should have the same warmth and consideration of this disease that she is getting from you. I also hope that all of the assumptions that I have made about the conservative view of “tough on crime” is wrong and that some if it might in fact change.

  13. kralmajales says:

    To Rep. Groe if you are reading this. I am very very sorry for using your personal situation for my tirade on this particular post. I hope you get the best legal defense that you can afford or be afforded to you. I also know how difficult alcoholism is and what a difficult disease it is. I also know how easy it is to have a drink after work, be in good spirits and to make the mistake of jumping in the car and driving. I hope you recover from your alcoholism.

    But more than anything else, I do hope that you will reconsider some of your views on how we punish in America, that you might be able to afford the best lawyer possible to fight the charges, that you can afford to get yourself treatment, when others cannont. More than that I also hope so much that you will come out of this as a shining example to kids everywhere what the dangers of drunk driving are.

    Finally, amd more importantly, when someone in the legislature, on a blog, or anywhere else, starts to slam a person because of a similar mistake, that you will stand up for them and make sure they get the same type of warmth and support that the good people of this blog are giving you right now.

    Good luck to you.

  14. kralmajales says:

    By the way Sonoran Truth, we disagree on many thing, but I have to react to this

    “That was from the old beef in CA and it was tossed… This was a straight up DUI… Doesn’t make it right, but there’s no need to try and make it seem worse than it is just so you can pile on, vent, and make yourself feel better”

    This is exactly…exactly what prosecutors do for a living when the fight crime under the laws that this legislature continues to stiffen harden…and to no effect.

    Piling on is exactly what a past conviction is supposed to do. Piling on is exactly what a repeat offender is supposed to get. Piling on is exactly what happens when your alcohol reading is twice the legal limit instead of just over the legal limit.

    Isn’t this what “tough on crime” is all about? Piling on?

    Again to Ms. Groe, I am not sure if the county you were convicted in has one, but please consider also a drug or dui court like that is found in Maricopa. IF you are lucky enough to find one, it will help with your recovery.

  15. kralmajales says:

    “That was the old beef in California nad it was tossed”

    Nope…not true, unless the Republic got it wrong here is what was said (and I WILL leave room for the paper to be wrong):

    “In November 1999, Groe was cited for DUI and driving without a valid license in Orange County, California, where she made her home. The driving-without-a-valid-license charge was later dismissed, according to court records. She explained it Tuesday by saying she was a valid driver at the time, but had simply forgotten to bring her license with her at the time she was pulled over.

    She pleaded guilty to DUI – and was sentenced to more than $1,000 in fines, three years of probation and eight hours of community service. Her license was restricted for 90 days.”

    So that is a prior and that is what most laws in this state say should be used to “pile on”, even though it was 8 years ago.

    Last, here is what the defense attorney is going to have to fight:

    “La Paz County Attorney Martin Brannan already planned to charge Groe with aggravated DUI, a felony for which conviction would mean ouster from the Legislature. When notified Tuesday by The Republic of Groe’s earlier DUI, he said it would make her ability to plead down to a misdemeanor less likely, and could result in more jail time if she’s convicted.”

    Is this the way a disease should be treated?

  16. Sonoran Truth Squad says:

    Repeating yourself won’t make you right… Kral:

    I said you had it wrong on the driving with an expired license and that it was tossed… You say I’m wrong and then quote the Republic where it backs up MY version of things… They say it was later “dismissed”…

    Now, if for some wierd reason you want to distinguish between “tossed” and “dismissed”, feel free… I’m not sure anyone else here does though…

    Using the expired license to pile on is what I was critical of. Other than arguing that it was dismissed, not tossed, you have chosen to ignore what I said and headed off in some other direction. Not a biggie since I’m not too wound up over whether you understand or not, but maybe you were confusing others, so it was worth clarifying one more time…

  17. kralmajales says:

    On the repeating issue, “mea culpa”…dang computer froze and thought it didn’t post. Sooooo, sorry. Ya’ll should only have to listen to me once .

    On the clarification, STS, thanks. I thought you were referring to the much bigger issue from California…the DUI, NOT the expired license in that particular incident (which really isn’t all that important when compared to the DUI).

    Am I wrong in saying that there was an expired license in this particular incident though?

    Dang it, I try not to be this mean, but hope you got my point after the fourth time .

  18. I’m not a defender/supporter of MayDay, but on this one, he appears to be right (see paragraphs 3 & 4). Also, Groe should resign her seat. As two-time offender she needs to serve time:

    LAKE HAVASU CITY (AP) – A member of the Arizona Legislature representing Mohave County was arrested late Thursday on suspicion on drunken driving, authorities said.

    State Rep. Trish Groe, R-Lake Havasu City, was arrested in Parker, said Lt. Linc Gilbert, spokesman for the La Paz County Sheriff’s Department. A deputy stopped Groe for speeding and driving erratically around 9 p.m., and preliminary tests show she had a blood-alcohol level of 0.158, nearly twice the legal limit in Arizona.

    Groe also was driving with a canceled driver’s license, Gilbert said.

    La Paz County Attorney Martin Brannan told The Arizona Republic that Groe may face a felony DUI charge because she was apparently driving with a canceled license.

    If Groe is charged and convicted of a felony, it would result in her automatic removal from her elected position.

    ‘‘I just want to say that I am very thankful that no one else was impacted or hurt. I am deeply ashamed and embarrassed of my behavior,” Groe said Friday evening.

    Groe, 37, said she had been drinking at her Phoenix apartment and was driving through Parker on her way to her home in Lake Havasu City.

    ‘‘I feel very blessed that no one was injured because of my poor judgment,” she said.

    She was booked on a charge of aggravated DUI for driving with a canceled license and extreme DUI for having a blood-alcohol content of more than 0.15, Gilbert said.

    Groe disputed the canceled license, saying it was a mix-up with the Motor Vehicle Division.

    Groe was ‘‘very, very cooperative” with deputies and was released without bond Thursday night, Gilbert said.

    Groe said her license was suspended in 2005 because of an unpaid ticket in California, but that she had taken care of the matter. But Brannan said records show she never reapplied for a license.

    Brannan said any felony charge could be pleaded down to a misdemeanor.

    ‘‘I have testified in front of my church as a recovering alcoholic, and I have given speeches at the DUI prison as a recovering alcoholic,” Groe told The Republic. ‘‘To relapse like that not only affects my parents who are worried about me, but it affects my husband and my family and my church and I’ve let down quite a few people.”

    Groe represents District 3, which encompasses most of Mohave County and a portion of La Paz County.

  19. Kral:
    I sincerely wish the best for Rep. Trish Groe and send good wishes for her to get back on track. Yes, things could have been much worse, had she inadvertently killed someone or herself.

    Dealing with the reality of losing a legislative seat this late in the session when every vote counts and she was a valuable member, is tough not only for her, but for those of us who depended on her reasoned advocacy.

    A few quick points:
    1. This is a dialogue comment line. The intent is for people to have a “conversation,” of sorts.
    You post and then answer yourself. Then post again. Give the rest of us a chance to respond to the main post rather than to one person’s domination of the comments.

    2. Regarding Rep. Groe’s sad saga: Alcoholism and drug usage became “diseases” with the advent of high-dollar rehab centers. If “clients” could be convinced that they were not responsible for bending their elbow, snorting cocaine or shooting heroin, because they were “diseased” they didn’t have to assume full responsibility for their actions. Example: cancer and Lou Gherig’s (ALS) Disease are, in fact, diseases. They are not caused by actions (except for lung cancer’s relationship to smoking). A person might have a genetic predisposition to not metabolizing alcohol, but that condition in and of itself, is not a disease. Many in the established medical community have known this as fact for years. Oprah was responsible for spreading the misinformation that has been eagerly grabbed up by those who prefer to sanitize themselves or their loved ones, as well as those who benefit financially (health care professionals or investors) from perpetrating this myth. It is now de rigueur to refer to drug users as “substance abusers.” And just how does one “abuse” a substance? The term addict has gone the way of buggy whips, since using that term doesn’t encourage participation in expensive, residential therapy.

    This is a subject with which I have more than just passing experience.

    ——————————————————————————–
    See what’s free at AOL.com.

  20. kralmajales says:

    Interesting points Ajo…are you saying that it can’t be treated or alcohol is something that is more like an urge that has to be controlled. I am not sure, I do think some substances have physically and chemically addictive qualities where people need help. Does it excuse actions…well…no….I am not sure that it does. That is what makes the response to this really interesting on this particular blog. I may miss your point though, you seem much more informed about health on this subject that I am.

    ….and well well taken about the dialogue part. I will restrain my urges of “and another thing…”

    Take care.

  21. Treatment can be beneficial. The problem lies in referring to the use and effects of drug and alcohol as diseases. Certainly, the underlying issue is addiction, but my point is that these are “diseases” over which the “diseased” have the ultimate control. Don’t put a needle in your arm or powder up your nose, and you won’t have that “disease.”

    The disease concept is consistent with the philosophy of Alcoholics Anonymous.
    Most importantly, it has also been both profitable and politically successful, reaching to include problems of compulsive shopping, gambling, eating, child abuse, obsessive love affairs and nearly every imaginable form of self-destructive behavior. From this perspective, nearly every one of us can be said to have a “disease” of addiction.

    These are behaviors–not diseases. Behaviors are elective, whereas true medical diseases are not.

  22. Moving past the personal tragedy and onto what actually affects the rest of us (politics), how have other politicians in our government been treated upon conviction or even admission of guilt? Symington was forced to resign, never admitted guilt, and later when the court ruled the jury was corrupted he didn’t exactly get this job back, did he? Groe has admitted guilt, and the felony aspect is unclear. Also, some people worried about whether Groe keeps her “job” don’t give one whit about her, but they do care deeply about her vote. What, we look the other way because it’s expedient for our big picture?

  23. kralmajales says:

    Ajo Joe,

    Thanks. I tend to agree with you from a personal responsibility focus and I agree with what you said about treatment and the “disease” rhetoric. Honestly, a disease hits you without provocation many times, but you have to take that first drink to become an alcoholic.

    Still, I do think we need to do more to treat these addictions. It works when jail just does not.

    Timothy,

    Unfortunately, the answer to your last question is a big “yep” by some. Not some here, clearly.

    As I was getting at, you can’t possibly sell consistency in sentences and tough on crime to the rest of America, with a straight-face, without bringing those same harsh penalties on those you like when they mess up. Fair is fair, right? Although, I personally don’t believe that Ms. Groe will get anything out of prison.

    Also, when the lawyering begins remember all the rhetoric I hear often about the the evil defense lawyer who is using every trick in the book to get her off or lighten her sentence. Will the faith-based treatment program become an excuse to lighten the sentence? Probably. That is what mitigation and taking ownership of a problem is all about. I bet she will do it and good for her.

  24. Ajo Joe,

    Yes behaviors are elective, but your body’s response to that behavior is not. I can drink a couple glasses of wine with dinner, have a beer on the patio with my husband, or a cocktail when we are out and be just fine. However, I know folks who take one drink and they have a very different physiological response. One never means one; a couple means a couple plus 5 or 6, maybe more. How do you know if you are that unlucky guy? Take an innocent first drink or two, drink socially as is so common, go to college and follow the crowd, grow up in an environment where the question, “Can I get you something to drink” is often spoken. Then one day you realize you don’t control it, it controls you. Hopefully you have access to good treatment and a support system that understands.

    The disease process of alcoholism is based in that response mechanism. Be it drugs, substances, or other behaviors there are some who have the hard wiring to become addicted. For these folks there is no choice but to abstain completely from those actions. Then there are others who just choose to be irresponsible. They put there own selfish wants before the needs of others. The end result might be the same but the root cause is not.

  25. not anyone important like youself says:

    Dear Trish
    I am sure you will get the best lawyer possible in your case. My brother did not. He was driving under the influence and he was in a car accident.Of course there was no malice or intent. Luckily the people in the other car were not seriously injured, but because he was under the influence it is considered a felony and because of your laws in arizona for his first offence in his life he is sentenced to 6 years in prison,for aggravated assault and endangerment..no parole..the maximum sentence was 19 1/2 yrs. Do you still feel this is fair.
    He lost his job as an aeronautical engineer,went into debt paying his lawyer. (wasted money as far as I am concerned..she was totally ineffectual.) He will lose everything. How much does the state of arizona want him to suffer! He was in Durango Jail before his sentencing a terrible place shackled and handcuffed, in stripes and pink, fed hardly anything…and brought in for his sentencing appearing this way as if he was a murderer or something. How do you think my family feels, our parents are ederly and sickly and probably will never see him again. We live in MA. I cry everyday for my brother..and you should have more empathy than anyone else. If you get to keep your job you better rethink your stand on arizona’s mandatory minimums. And I will be writing to you again for your assistance in this matter.
    I ask you where is your compassion for him.
    Long Jail terms serve no purpose for people like yourself, It only makes the situation worse. Go ahead build more and more prisons for non violent offenders..when they could be put on work programs and pay taxes. No one is saying my brother should not be punished..but even the judge said in az the mandatory minimums are extreme and my hands are tied. Is this justice?

  26. She should be treated the same as any other Lake Havasu City resident has been treated.

    A friend of mine received a DUI, first offense, just at the .o8 level and received: time in jail,her license restricted, with a breathalyser mechanism for her vehicle and and probation.

    No deals were offered.

    She had a valid current drivers license and no prior convictions regarding DUI or any other infraction.

    She is not above the law.

    She should resign immediately, as she has shown that she has not respect for the law.

  27. istherefairanymore says:

    This is a very interesting situation. With the state doing all the advertizing on radio and tv about no tolerance and the MAX ….. How can a state rep ask for or plea anything less? I would like to see comparisons done for offenders with the same situations and compare the penalties. For this would show if this gets way out of proportion or not.
    This is what the public MUST look at carefully. If things look fishy with the results…….they probably are. I would hope anyone else in a situation like this would receive the same treatment from our judicial system. After all it is here for all of us…….not having a different view because of somebodies political, public, professional, etc……. role in the community. If not what does the miniumun or maximum really mean.

  28. Kralmajales,what sort of moron are you????.a second DUI is a felony for any one else in Arizona.

  29. Trish Groe is a common criminal she is not fit to represent the people. I contacted rep Groe several years ago about the meth problem in meadview and she would do nothing! Mohave county has one of the highest drug use problems in the nation,yes in the nation. Just about everybody in the county knows about the drug and alcohol problems,but the elected officials do very little to put a stop to this BS.So now i find out Trish Groe is part of the problem not the cure.I finally got out of arizona, i could no longer take the sore throats and terriable headaches from the chemicals my neighbors were using to cook meth.After hundreds of complants to polititians and the sheriffs department from everybody in the neighborhood nothing was done? So much for justice.Trish Groe should be thrown out office!
    Mark

  30. Hello Guru, what entice you to post an article. This article was extremely interesting, especially since I was searching for thoughts on this subject last Thursday.

  31. Hello, I like your site! I shall be back again.

  32. At South Coast Recovery, we pride ourselves on making this nerve-wracking time as solacing as possible.

  33. You you could edit the blog name Sonoran Alliance: Arizona Politics for Conservatives » Trish Groe Confronts a Sobering Reality to something more generic for your webpage you create. I enjoyed the the writing even sononetheless.

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