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Washington State Law Protects Twelve Step Sponsors

Washington State Law Protects Twelve Step Sponsors

Washington State recently passed a law that provides Twelve Step sponsors with the same kind of court protection given to doctors and attorneys, despite a veto from Governor Jay Inslee. 


The law (SB 6498) will protect the sponsor-addict relationship so sponsors cannot be called to testify in civil proceedings, though they may in criminal proceedings. The bill defines a sponsor as “an individual who acts as a sponsor providing guidance, emotional support, and counseling in an individualized manner to a person participating in an alcohol or drug addiction recovery fellowship” (Kim, 2016). 


“The bill is critical to ensuring that those who are seeking treatment from addiction have the protection to speak openly with their peers and sponsors without the fear of repercussions,” stated state Representative Chris Hurst, who sponsored the bill in the House (Kim, 2016). 


Washington has previously given protection to doctors, attorneys, counselors, spouses, and journalists. 






Kim, V. (2016). New law gives AA sponsors same protection as doctors, attorneys in civil court. Retrieved from https://www.thefix.com/new-law-gives-aa-sponsors-same-protection-doctors-attorneys-civil-court