DWI Alcohol Assessment in North Carolina

What is a DWI alcohol assessment in North Carolina? Why would someone need to complete one? A DWI assessment is an alcohol and drug abuse assessment consisting of a standardized test and a clinical interview that is conducted by a certified or licensed counselor. The counselor uses a structured assessment questionnaire that is designed to identify past and current substance abuse patterns and to make recommendations for future prevention. Based on the results of the assessment, the counselor recommends one of five levels of substance abuse treatment. The levels of treatment range from 16 hours of drug and alcohol education and up to 90 days or more of inpatient or residential treatment. The assessment and related paperwork take approximately one hour to complete, are valid for six months, and by statue cost $100. There are many reasons why a person charged with DWI should get an assessment. An assessment is required prior to receiving any pre- or post-trial driving privilege. Getting one early can limit the period of time that you can’t drive during your revocation period. And an assessment is also a statutory mitigating factor that can be used at a sentencing hearing and can help reduce the level of punishment after a conviction. If you are convicted of DWI, state law requires that you must obtain an assessment and complete any recommended education or treatment as a condition of probation to regain your driving privilege.