(These placement requirements are from the NC DHHS DWI Services) 


The DWI Assessment results will assign you to one of the following levels of group or class.

There are five placement levels for DWI substance abuse treatment in North Carolina. There are a minimum number of contact hours and minimum lengths of time a person must be involved. These are now codified into a new section 122C-142.1 of the General Statutes: “Substance abuse services for those convicted of driving while impaired, or driving after drinking by person under 21.”

State Rules require that a Substance Abuse assessment is valid for only 6 months. Treatment or ADETS must be started prior to 6 months from the date of the assessment or a whole new assessment will be required at a full cost of $100.

Level I- DWI Education (Alcohol & Drug Education Traffic School):

  • First DUI/DWI conviction (Total lifetime).
  • Arrest BAC of .14 or less.
  • Did not refuse breath test.
  • Has no substance abuse diagnosis as determined by a thorough alcohol and drug use evaluation.
  • Must be a minimum of sixteen contact hours completed in no less than 5 sessions.

Level II-DWI Short-term Treatment:

  • More than 1 DUI/DWI lifetime.

  • Refused breath test.

  • BAC of .15 or greater.

  • DSM-IV diagnosis of Substance Abuse.

  • Meets Level I ASAM (American Society of Addictions Medicine) program placement criteria.

  • A minimum of 20 but less than 40 contact hours lasting a minimum of 30 days.  

Level III-DWI Intermediate/Longer Term Level Treatment:

  • Meets criteria for DSM-IV Substance Dependence Diagnosis.
  • Meets Level I ASAM program placement criteria.
  • Minimum of 40 but less than 90 contact hours, minimum of 60 days duration.

Level IV-Intensive Outpatient Treatment:

  • DSM-IV diagnosis of Substance Dependence, moderate to severe.
  • Meets Level II ASAM program placement criteria.
  • A minimum of 90 contact hours with a minimum duration of 90 days.
  • According to Health Insurance, the State of NC, the American Society of Addiction Medicine, and NC DWI Services, the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)  requires at least 3 sessions and 9 hours per week in treatment. This program may be preceded by a brief inpatient stay for detoxification or stabilization of a medical or psychiatric condition.


Level V-Inpatient/Residential Treatment:
  • DSM-IV diagnosis of Substance Dependence, severe.
  • Meets Level III or IV program placement criteria.
  • Upon discharge from inpatient treatment, a person has to enroll in an approved continuing care or outpatient program to meet the 90-day time frame. There should not be any significant period of time between inpatient or residential treatment and beginning the 90 day follow up. There should also be no resumption of alcohol or drug use, even in small amounts prior to the 90 day follow up. If there is more than a couple of weeks between residential treatment and beginning the follow up or if there has been any substance use, the DWI client will likely have to begin a new treatment program.

N. C. law allows up to 15 days credit for inpatient treatment in place of mandatory active sentence. However, an inpatient treatment facility can admit a person to inpatient treatment, ONLY, if that person meets the ASAM criteria for this level of treatment. This is true, even if the person wants to pay for this in full out of his own pocket.

Failure to follow the ASAM criteria can result in a facility’s losing its licenses and accreditation and puts in jeopardy payments by private insurers. Admission to inpatient treatment is based solely on medical or psychiatric necessity, not on a legal requirement or personal preference! (From the DHHS DWI Services)

(ASAM refers to the criteria established by the American Society of Addictive Medicine.)


We must consider the following during the assessment:

•  A copy of your full, lifetime driving record from the DMV. The North Carolina Certified Driving Record costs $11.00. It must be signed or stamped by the NC  DMV. If you can’t get one, Better Communities will order one online for you while you are at our office. If we can’t get it that way, we will go to the DMV for you.

•  Verification of your Breathalyzer or blood test reading. You will probably have this with your ticket. This can also be obtained from your attorney, the Clerk of Court or possibly from the North Carolina DMV.

•  Fee payment of $100 for the assessment in cash or money order. If writing a check, you will have to wait 14 days for the check to clear to receive results.

•  Come to the assessment alcohol and drug free. If you are “high” or have alcohol on  your breath, you will be turned away and will be charged for the time the counselor reserved for your assessment.

A NC DWI Substance Abuse Assessment is required by law for all those convicted of DWI in North Carolina. Getting a DWI assessment prior to court is a mitigating factor at the trial and could lessen the level of punishment you receive.


Education or substance abuse treatment is required of everyone convicted of Driving Wile Impaired. Depending on the level recommended by the assessment, classes or treatment may last from 1 week to 90 days or more.

Enrolling in the recommended treatment before court is a an advantage at the trial. Many attorneys are now recommending that you enroll at the time of your assessment. Consult your attorney for advice on this.

Better Communities provides DWI and substance abuse assessments in the evening and on Saturday. The state of NC requires that a DWI provider charge $100 for the DWI assessment. Better Communities charges no administrative fees or other charges of any type except for out of state transfers.

To schedule your appointment in Raleigh, call (919) 844-7755.  You can pay by either money order, credit card or cash.

Before the results of your assessment can be finalized, you will need to bring in written proof of your Breathalyzer reading (BAC) if you were arrested for DWI. You can also obtain a copy from the clerk’s office or have your attorney fax verification to us.

NC DWI law requires a certified copy of your driving record be reviewed at the DWI assessment. If you have a North Carolina driver’s license this can be obtained in room 108 at the DMV located at 1100 New Bern Avenue in Raleigh. Better Communities staff will pick up your NC driving record and court records if you need that service.

DWI Assessment “508s”  are completed online at Better Communities, speeding up the turn around time.


Phone: 919 844-7755
Toll Free: 1-800-420-8301

Fax: 1-800-480-5850




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