Oklahoma teen sentenced to church after drunk driving crash

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OKLAHOMA -- The American Civil Liberties Union is filing a complaint in the case of an Oklahoma teen who was sentenced to attend church.

17-year-old Tyler Alred pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol when he caused a deadly crash. The judge gave Alred 10 years of probation as well as sentencing him to attend church for the next 10 years. 

The ACLU is saying requiring the teen to attend church is a violation of the First Amendment.

"An act of worship ought to be something you do freely because you choose to do it," Brady Henderson said.

The ACLU of Oklahoma is asking the Council on Judicial Complaints to take a look at the judge who imposed the sentence.

"We have not asked that he be removed. We have not asked that he be censured. What we have said is we think the Council on Judicial Complaints needs to take a look at their full panel of options," Henderson said.

If the council chooses to take action, the panel has a wide range of options, from a simple letter of reprimand to removal from the bench. Henderson says the sentence is also based on what could be a false assumption -- that church attendance improves behavior.

"It's not something that automatically happens because of attendance. It happens when people say 'I want to behave a certain way. I want to live and act a certain way.' And the concern is that cant happen if a person is ordered to participate in religion," Henderson said.

Tyler Alred's attorney was not available for comment for this story. He has told reporters that he has no plans to challenge the judge's sentence.