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This article is meant solely for informational purposes. Please consult an attorney or the DMV for more detailed information concerning your specific case.  Also note that this article represents information about DWIs in North Carolina. Each states’ rules differ when it comes to DWIs or DUIs.  

What happens after a DWI (in North Carolina)

After a Driving While Impaired (DWI) conviction, the defendant’s license will be revoked for one year for a first conviction (likely longer for multiple convictions). Regardless of the amount of time that your license is revoked, you will have several Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) conditions to which you must comply in order to get your license back after the revocation period. One of the conditions you will have to satisfy is to obtain a DWI substance abuse assessment, which costs $100. This is a requirement no matter what level DWI offender you are. You will need to have a copy of your DWI citation, Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) report, and your driving record (even if it is from out-of-state). The assessment consultation typically takes between one hour (1) and one and one-half (1 ½) hours.

You must begin substance abuse assessment/treatment

A substance abuse assessment is only valid for six (6) months, therefore the defendant must have begun treatment within six months after the assessment is completed. It is not required that the treatment be completed within six months, but only that the treatment has begun. If the defendant does not begin treatment within six months after the assessment, a new assessment will be required.

You must submit Form 508R to the DMV

Often, defendants are referred to Alcohol and Drug Education Traffic School (ADETS). However, a person who refused to submit to a breathalyzer at the police station (not a field sobriety test), who has a BAC level at .14 or above, and offenders with a prior DWI conviction will receive treatment recommendations. Once the treatment has been completed, the provider must submit a Form 508 R directly to the DMV in order for the DMV to remove the stop on the person’s license. Once the form has been submitted, it usually takes three (3) to ten (10) business days for the stop to be removed by the DMV.

Offenders who live out-of-state

A DWI offender from out-of-state who receives a DWI in NC may complete the required substance abuse assessment and education or treatment in their home state. Once the assessment and treatment have been completed, the out-of-state provider must submit the documentation of completion to a NC treatment provider. If the NC treatment provider finds the documentation is acceptable and is in compliance with NC’s requirements, the NC provider will submit the documentation to the NC DMV. It is best for the offender to contact a NC provider before performing an assessment and starting treatment with an out-of-state provider to confirm that the out-of-state treatment would meet NC’s requirements. A list of NC providers can be found online at the Department of Health and Human Services website ( Pre-approval is necessary, because a NC provider will charge a fee to review the documentation whether or not the out-of-state provider meets NC’s requirements and whether the documentation is accepted in NC.

How to get your driver’s license back

In order to obtain your driver’s license after having met all other conditions, the defendant must present to the DMV and provide proof of insurance, also known as a DL-123 form. The defendant can obtain this form from their insurance company by simply calling them. Additionally, the defendant must also present their social security card or a payroll check with a valid social security number, a picture ID or old driver’s license, pay the reinstatement fee and fee for a duplicate license. The $100 civil revocation fee should have already been paid, but if not, that fee must be paid as well.

Bottom line: take an Uber instead.  You won’t have to deal with any of the above

Bottom line: don’t drink and drive.  Take an Uber, Lyft or taxi instead, or have a designated driver in your group.  Otherwise you will have to deal with all of the above issues, not to mention that alcohol and driving just simply don’t mix and can cause life-altering impacts to you and others.

Need a savvy NC lawyer to help you with your DWI?  Let Bernie help you source one.  It’s easy and free to use the system.  Click/tap on the button below to get started.

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