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SBI Crime Lab Problems Halt Another DWI Case

The DWI trial of 29-year-old Daniel Dotson came to a sudden stop again in Tuesday. This after an SBI crime lab analyst failed to show up in Haywood County District Court. The on-again off-again trial of the habitual drunk driving convict from Weaverville has his alleged victims reaching their breaking point.

"You keep going to court and you see the case has not been heard for almost four and a half years now. That is not justice," said Barbara Zimmerman. Dotson was first charged in this case in 2008 when he allegedly drove drunk and crashed into Zimmerman's home in Waynesville. "Our home did not jump out in the street in front of this man. He hit our home," she said.

Dotson has a long history of drunk driving. Court records show he has multiple convictions across several mountain counties.

"We're fortunate that he hasn't killed somebody already," said local MADD president Ellen Pitt. Pitt said delayed or dismissed DWI cases is an all too common problem. "We are geographically punished because we don't have a lab and this is just going to continue to get worse until we get a lab."

Prosecutors declined to comment for this story and Dotson could not be reached. The D.A. now has until April to track down the analyst and get her to court.

"The analyst involved in this case may not even be employed by the lab anymore," said Pitt.

If the analyst doesn't show in court in April the case could be dismissed.

By: Mario Boone,

Follow on Twitter: @marioboone



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