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A problem with getting toxicology test results in DWI cases that started earlier this year is continuing to get worse. State laws that have been put in place requiring the lab to obtain more certifications as well as making the analysts testify at trial are seriously slowing down the process of getting toxicology results to trial in DWI cases. Judges are not allowed by law to take a plea in a DWI case until the defendant’s alcohol content is revealed which is further serving to tie up the system with pending DWI cases. In some jurisdiction in North Carolina judges are dismissing DWI cases where defendants have been waiting nearly two years for a trial because the wait is so long concluding the Constitutional right to a speedy trial is being violated.
In North Carolina there are currently only 12 analysts in the state to process approximately 9,000 DWI toxicology tests every year. Short staffed in tandem with new requirements for toxicology testing is resulting in the huge delay in trying DWI cases that need toxicology results. It will be up the NC legislature to get involved to allow for a speedier process for toxicology results in order to push these cases through.
Source: http://www.digtriad.com/news/local/article/242856/57/State-Crime-Lab-Backlog-Affects-Speedy-Prosecution