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DWI Blood Tests At Hospital

DWI blood analysis is set to begin soon at Medwest-Haywood.

The District Attorney's Office expects the hospital to return a contract next week, agreeing to do the blood work.

Law enforcement and Mothers Against Drunk Driving say local testing will help alleviate the backlog at the state crime lab in Raleigh where testing is done.

Local MADD Representative Ellen Pitt says it has been taking too long to prosecute offenders.

"You know there are cases right now pending with the blood results that have not come back after two years," said Pitt.

Pitt says the state crime lab has a backlog of up to 15,000. Until they're litigated, she says a large percentage of those charged with drunk driving will do it again.. A frustration for police as well.

"You don't have to work your case once. Sometimes you have to work your case 2 to 3 times with re-charging, finding the person, re-arresting," said Captain Brian Beck with Waynesville Police.

But under a new law introduced by State Senator Jim Davis, DWI blood testing no longer must be done at the state crime labbut can be done at local hospitals.

"You're going to be getting results back in 20 minutes," says Pitt.

Pitt says lives will be saved and offenders will get the message.

"They may get the treatment, the assessment, the jail time, whatever they need to get them to where they're not doing this again," said Pitt.

By Rex Hodge

Follow Rex on Twitter @RexHodgeWLOS



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