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CARS – Screening and Assessment Tool for DUI Offender Population

Computerized Assessment and Referral System (CARS) is a proud sponsor of the groundbreaking CARS screening and assessment tool which was released in June 2017 and is now in use across the nation. You can download CARS for free at the CARS Training Center.

NEW: A CARS screener is now available for use in the broader population as a mental health screening instrument. The CARS Mental Health Screener will be useful for physicians, mental health professionals, first responders and veteran service organizations.

The new mental health screening tool was developed to identify people in crisis and connect them with the treatment they need. launched the new screener on a November 2021 webinar about alcohol use disorders among veterans.

The new mental health screener is available in 3 versions:

    1. CARS screener (15-20 minutes)
    2. Self-administered CARS screener (15-40 minutes)
    3. Full CARS assessment (1-2 hours)

CARS is also available in its traditional version (detailed below) for use in the criminal justice system.


Honorable Michael Barrasse

Picture of Honorable Michael Barrasse

President Judge, Court of Common Pleas, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania

“Without a screening tool, it is hard to know why some DUI offenders continue to re-offend. CARS helps us identify substance use and mental health disorders and appropriately address those issues. If we are going to be smart on how to handle DUI offenders, we have to know who they are and the barriers to their success.”

Honorable Robert Anchondo

Picture of Honorable Robert Anchondo

Judge, El Paso County, Texas Criminal Court

“We have been using CARS since its inception. We have found this tool to be very useful for the DWI offender. The approach to the tool is user friendly and identifies, substance use disorders and an array of mental health issues. It is easily used by our clinicians and staff members, and it allows us to populate the tool with our community resources and generates a report to determine the linkage to those resources. The screening determines if the participant is a high risk for recidivism and needs treatment. This is vitally essential since we, as a treatment court, need to commence these services immediately or determine if residential placement should be the first step.”

The Talk about CARS

  • CARS is a standardized mental health assessment tool, based on the World Health Organization’s Composite International Diagnostic Interview (or CIDI).
  • In 2016, supported the implementation of CARS at six pilot sites across the country, in both urban and rural locales.

A report that summarizes the experience of the pilot sites and provides CARS implementation recommendations is available.

For more information, access the full CARS synopsis or contact Chris Konschak, Senior Director of Traffic Safety and Government Relations at [email protected].

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