TO ALL DWI DEFENDANTS:
If you are found guilty of a DWI offense, (including drinking and driving underage or aiding and abetting DWI) the law requires that you obtain a substance abuse assessment and follow the recommendations of the assessing agency.
You may be able to get a limited driving privilege 10 days after your arrest instead of waiting the full 30-day ‘civil revocation’ period. Getting an assessment is required to get this privilege.
It is considered a mitigating (positive) factor to have an assessment already done before your court date.
When deciding your sentence, the Judge looks at these mitigating factors and weighs them against aggravating (negative) or grossly aggravating (very negative) factors to determine your level of punishment. Obviously, it is in your best interest to have as many mitigating factors as possible.
AN ASSESSMENT IS REQUIRED BEFORE THE JUDGE WILL CONSIDER GRANTING YOU A LIMITED PRIVILEGE TO DRIVE BEFORE OR AFTER YOU ARE CONVICTED.
Your assessment must be done with an agency that is approved by the Department of Health and Human Resources and recognized by the DMV. Angel Light, in Asheville and Burnsville, and Mars Hill Counseling Services, in Mars Hill, are all state approved agencies.
If you come before the court and have not yet obtained an assessment, you should be prepared to tell the Judge which agency you have chosen to do your assessment with.
Once the assessment has been completed and a recommendation has been made, you may choose to go to that same agency or any other licensed agency to complete the recommended level of education or treatment program.
The assessment fee for DWI has been set by law at $100. Assessing agencies are required to have a copy of your driving record from DMV at the time of the assessment. We must obtain a Lifetime Driving record from the DMV in Raleigh so the assessment can be done without delay. We will get the Driving Record for you at no charge. Driving records from other states are your responsibility and must be a part of the file that we create at your assessment. Most states have online access for their records. 3-year or 7-year driving records will not satisfy the NC DMV requirement.
Please note: FOR DWI OFFENDERS who live outside of North Carolina: you may have an assessment done in your home state, BUT the assessment must follow the guidelines, rules, and laws of North Carolina. The assessment must be done by a Licensed or Certified Substance Abuse Counselor, depending on which state. The assessor must submit the assessment to an approved DWI services agency (such as Angel Light) in North Carolina. The NC agency will then create a “508 form” which will be sent through the internet to NC DMV and the case will be cleared there.
IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, it is best to have your assessment done in North Carolina. The program that follows may then be done in any other location. Having the assessment done in NC will help avoid confusion and assure that the assessment and program meet the requirements for NC.
A law requiring a Substance Abuse Assessment for Driving While License Revoked (DWLR) offenders whose licensed was revoked because of a DWI was passed in December of 2006. This assessment is just like a DWI assessment, and requires a $100 fee over and above the DWI assessment.
You may wish to contact one of our 3 locations as soon as possible to get more information on DWI assessments or to schedule an appointment.
Angel Light - (828) 319-9094
44 Merrimon Avenue, Suite 3B
Asheville, NC 28801
1040-J Highway 19E
Burnsville, NC 28714
Mars Hill Counseling Services
15 Mountain View Road
Mars Hill, NC 28754