If you get a DUI in North Carolina, the consequences can be life-changing. You could face large out-of-pocket costs, the loss of your license, increased insurance rates, and even jail time under some circumstances. Thankfully, a good DUI lawyer can help minimize the damage and maybe even get the charges reduced or dismissed. While it may seem like North Carolina only delves out punishment and does little to help the root problem, the state actually invests in substance abuse help for offenders.
Getting a substance use assessment has now become an intricate part of the state's DWI laws in an effort to decrease the number of drunk drivers and help those with an abuse problem. Here's how it works:
If you refuse a breathalyzer after you've been pulled or blown over 0.14, you are required to submit to a substance use assessment.
If you have been convicted of a DWI (Driving While Impaired), you must also get a substance abuse assessment.
Convicted offenders must also complete either an education program or a treatment program and complete a DWI Substance Use Assessment before license reinstatement.
The focus on helping those with substance abuse problems is definitely a good thing. The negative consequences aside, being forced to complete a substance abuse program can often be just the catalyst to help alcohol abusers change their ways. The end goal is to have fewer drunk drivers on the road and attack the root problem of substance abuse.
North Carolina Guidelines for DUI and Substance Abuse
There are various programs available for those required to submit to substance abuse treatement in North Carolina. Depending on the specific DUI charges and contributing factors, offenders will likely encounter these two programs:
- Alcohol Drug Education Traffic School (ADETS)
ADETS is an education-based program for North Carolinians convicted of DUI. The program is for drivers who don't have a substance abuse disorder, but may be at risk of developing a disorder.
- PRIME for Life
Prime for Life is a second level educational program used in all the ADETS programs in North Carolina. The program’s intent is to educate offenders on ways to address drug or alcohol abuse and deal with the health consequences of that abuse.
As long as you follow the rules and attend and complete the DUI programs in North Carolina, the consequences of your DWI can be less severe. The state can help drivers take control of their substance use and its affects. But it takes an expert DUI attorney to make sure DUI charges don't ruin your life. Get in touch with us today and let us show you how we do it.