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  • Writer's pictureChris A. Matthews

DWI Assessments and Treatment Levels in North Carolina

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

In North Carolina, a DWI (Driving While Impaired) conviction carries not only legal consequences but also mandates the completion of a DWI assessment and education program to reinstate your driver's license. These assessments are essential in determining the level and intensity of education and treatment required based on individual factors. This article will delve into the intricacies of DWI assessments, the treatment levels specified by the ASAM criteria, and how they impact the path to reinstatement.


Understanding North Carolina DWI Assessment Levels:

A DWI assessment is a crucial step in the reinstatement process. It involves a clinical interview conducted by a Licensed or Certified Substance Abuse Counselor to assess whether an individual has issues related to alcohol and/or drug use. This comprehensive assessment collects information on various aspects, including the details of the DWI incident, family and relationship history, cultural values, employment, and medical and mental health concerns. This evaluation serves as the foundation for determining the appropriate treatment.


Factors Influencing Treatment Levels:

The treatment level assigned to an individual is influenced by several factors, including:

  1. Prior DWI within the last 7 years.

  2. Whether the driver refused a chemical test at the time of arrest.

  3. Information gathered from the substance abuse assessment.

Charlotte Virtual DWI Assessment:

Our Charlotte virtual DWI assessment is a valuable tool used by licensed alcoholism counselors. It involves a series of questions in the form of a clinical interview to determine the appropriate treatment level. The information provided by the individual guides professionals in tailoring a specific treatment plan.


DWI Education and Treatment Levels:

The DWI classes offered at our Charlotte, North Carolina, alcoholism counseling center adhere to the ASAM criteria's recommended treatment levels. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) criteria provides a comprehensive framework for treatment planning and is based on five broad levels of care, which are determined by factors like medical management, structure, safety, and security.


Level 0.1: Alcohol Drug Education Traffic School (ADETS):

  • Suitable for first-time DWI offenders.

  • 16-hour alcohol and drug prevention program.

  • No substance abuse handicap identified.

  • No previous DWI convictions.

  • No refusal of a chemical test.

  • Blood alcohol concentration of 0.14% or less


Level 1.0: Outpatient Treatment and Services:

  • Short-term (20-39 hours) and long-term (40-89 hours) outpatient programs.

  • Suitable when additional treatment is needed beyond ADETS.

  • Factors include psychoactive substance abuse, high blood alcohol concentration, chemical test refusal, family history, and other alcohol/drug-related problems.


Level 2.0: Intensive Outpatient Treatment:

  • Minimum of 90 hours of treatment for substance abuse dependence.

  • Requires advanced education and treatment.

  • Includes individual and group counseling, family support, case management, and more.


Level 3.0: Inpatient and Residential Treatment Services:

  • Minimum 90 days of residential treatment.

  • Recommended when outpatient treatment is unsuccessful.

  • Indications include addiction, withdrawal risk, emotional/behavioral problems, and more.


Level 4.0: Medically Managed Intensive Inpatient Services:

  • 24-hour nursing and daily physician care.

  • Suitable for severe, unstable problems.

  • Counseling available for treatment engagement.




Navigating the DWI assessment and treatment process is essential for DWI offenders in North Carolina. The ASAM criteria's treatment levels play a pivotal role in determining the appropriate path to recovery and reinstatement. If you or a loved one requires a DWI assessment or evaluation, contact a recognized facility like the Behavioral Health Intervention Center. Our services include assessments, treatment, and education tailored to your needs. Schedule an appointment today by calling (704) 458-9292, especially if you're in the Charlotte area.

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