Sober Up or Else: Drunk Driving, Jerry

Putting the Public in Peril

In home video footage, Joey is up against her family as her brother, Jerry, his wife, Eva and Heather demand that she hand over her car keys.

Heather: You've destroyed every ******* life in here. You're not going to hurt an innocent family, Mom.

Joey eventually relents.


Back onstage, Dr. Phil says, "Well, let's talk about the truth. Didn't you tell us that you gave her the keys because you've got 20 sets hidden around the house?"

"Yeah," she says. "I have multiple keys. I'm a drunk. I lose my keys, so I make sure I have a lot of keys."

Dr. Phil tells her he knows she's a drunk, but she's not stupid. "What gives you the right to go out impaired and get in a car where all of us drive, all of us walk our children up and down the street, all of us live " What gives you the right to do that?" he asks. "I would have the car towed. I would take a chainsaw and cut the motor out of it. I would do something before I would let you drive. What gives you the right to do that?"

"I don't have a right," she says. 

Dr. Phil tells Joey's daughters, "And if you two don't do what it takes to keep her off the street, then you are a fool. I would follow her, I would call the cops, I would have her arrested and put under the damn jail before I would let my mother go kill somebody."

Dr. Phil asks Joani about a phone call she received from Joey while she was driving.

"She was very inebriated. She pulled off the side of the freeway at rush hour, took a nap, passed out," Joani says. 

"Where did you have to be so bad that you were willing to kill somebody to get there?" Dr. Phil asks Joey.

"I was actually on my way home from work," Joey says.

"So you drink at work?"

"No, I drink after I leave work."

"So, you're a counselor at a cemetery where they bury people, some who have been killed. And you counsel them, and then go out and get in your car and get drunk, throw her in gear and 'Here we go.' That's smart," Dr. Phil says.

Joey's brother, Jerry, is a recovering alcoholic. He and his wife, Eva, let Joey live in another home they own, with one rule: no drinking. It is a rule she has never followed. "Do you know how long your sister was in your house before drinking?" Dr. Phil asks Jerry.

"Probably about 24 hours," he says.

Dr. Phil asks Joey, "Why did you agree to come here?"

"Because it's just getting so out of control," she says. "I've been drinking for years, but I've always managed to go to work and at least get things done that I needed to do, and the drinking has gotten so bad that I have to have a drink, or I start shaking in the morning, and I have to have a drink just to even function." She struggles to speak through her tears. "And I hate my life. I hate that I have hurt my kids. I just hate it, and I don't know what to do."

"What do you think you have done to these kids?" Dr. Phil asks.

"I know that I've hurt them a lot," she says.

"Why can't you even look at them?" 

"Because," she cries, "I just love them so much, it hurts my heart that I've hurt them. It hurts my heart that they don't want to be around me. I don't even want to frickin' be around me, so I totally get that. I tried to be a good mother. I did. I did what I thought was good. I went to all their ball games. I did the PTA thing."

"You showed up drinking out of a thermos and yelling and screaming like a crazy woman," Dr. Phil points out.

"Look at your daughters. I want you to look Heather in the eye. Do you see the pain in her?" Dr. Phil asks.

"I do," Joey says. "What can I say? I've apologized and said I'm sorry. It doesn't cut it."

"You've never apologized one time," says her daughter, Alexandra. "Never to me. You have never apologized for the millions of years and the millions of times that I've seen you in and out of rehab. I'm 21 years old, and I can count that you've been in rehab more times than years I've been alive, and I've never heard you apologize one time."

"That's not true, honey."

"Every time, you've gone back on what you say," Alexandra says. "So mean it. "Tell Heather something that you mean, because she's the one taking care of you and doing everything for you. She's been paying your bills, the money you don't have to pay. Heather deserves something from you, Mom. She deserves something. I'm not here for you; I'm here for Heather. I'm sitting here, holding her hand because I think that she deserves for me to be here. I'm not here for you. I don't think that you
deserve this at all. I hope you know that."

"I just don't understand you," Heather tells her. "If you hate us so much, then just leave us alone."

"I don't hate you. It has nothing to do with hating you. I love you," Joey says.

"Then go to rehab and try! You don't even try!" Alexandra tells her.

"Let's just be honest. Is it too late for you?" Dr. Phil asks Joey.


"I don't think so," she says. "Because I feel like it's life or death now."


"Who's going to pay your bills next month?"


"I don't know. That's why I'm so terrified. I have to do something," she says.

"They're not going to take you in. Your brother is not going to enable you to do this. He knows better," Dr. Phil says. He turns to Heather and Alexandra and asks, "Are you guys going to pick her up? Are you going to enable her? Are you going to pay it? Are you going to give her a place to sit and kill herself with a bottle?"


"No," Heather says.


"Even if she hits the street? Even if you're driving down the street and you see her leaning against a building, over the top of a steam vent f

or a little warmth, drinking some cheap wine out of a bottle. Are you prepared to allow that to happen instead of enabling her? If you're not, we're through talking."

"I can't do this anymore, Mom," Heather says tearfully. "I really can't." She wipes a tear away. "You break my heart. I'm so sad for you. I'm so sad for Gloria. I'm so sad for Alex, and I'm sad for me. I can't do this. It ends today."

"You couldn't quit now if you wanted to," Dr. Phil tells Joey. "You are addicted physically, psychologically. If you stop drinking now, you're going to go into withdrawal that's going to make flu look like a vacation. You are so far in over your head that you can't be allowed to make decisions ... Your brain will be toxic for probably a year if you quit today." He asks her daughters, "Do y'all get that? It doesn't matter what she says. She could fall to her knees and swear before God she'll never take another drink, and it wouldn't be lunch before she was getting drunk."

Dr. Phil turns back to Joey. "That means if you're going to have a chance to finish out your life, if you're going to have a chance to repair these relationships that you have stomped on and abused, you're going to have to get sober and stay sober, and that doesn't mean a couple of weeks in rehab." Dr. Phil tells her if she's willing to get help, she's going to the rehab he picks for her, which is La Hacienda in Texas, and she's going to have to be there a long time. "What it amounts to is you're dropping out of life to have a chance at getting a life."
Heather pleads with her mother. "Don't get my hopes up, OK? Because I can't take another heartbreak. Turn him down if you're not going to try. Don't let me go on believing for months and months that I'm going to get my mom back if you're not going to try. I cannot break the news to them again. I physically cannot. I cannot have that conversation with them again. Please don't
make me. If you're not going to try, then please ... "

Joey wipes her tears away, looks at Dr. Phil and says, "I'll try."

"Do we have a deal?"

"Yeah. Thank you," Joey says, shaking Dr. Phil's hand.