Defendant’s wait longer and longer for blood test results

The Wisconsin Laboratory of Hygiene is falling further and further behind with testing blood samples for the presence of alcohol. Amy Miles, the toxicologist in charge of the State Laboratory of Hygiene blames the delays on an overload of requests and staff vacancies.

Miles reports that in 2015 two toxicologists left the lab and finding their replacements has been difficult. Toxicologists are both responsible for analyzing samples and testifying in court. Additional delays occur when the toxicologist is over scheduled for a trial date, leading to the postponement of many trials. With fewer toxicologists, toxicologists are forced to travel greater distances to cover court hearings.

The average time for a blood alcohol test rose from two days in 2015 to nine days last year. In addition, samples for drugged driving cases rose to 103 days in 2017. The delay in completion of lab work leads to the postponement of court hearings as the parties wait for the Laboratory of Hygiene to finish its work.

In 2017, the lab received over 18,000 samples for drunk driving and 5,400 samples for dug related cases. From 2015, that is an 8% and 22% increase. Miles says that the filled positions, new equipment and a repaired device should help meet rising demand. However, if the trend continues the lab may be unable to meet future increases in request for chemical sample testing.

If you or a loved one is charged with drunk or drugged driving you must contact the attorneys at Vanden Heuvel & Dineen, S.C. to begin preparing your defense. Call 262-250-1976. Available 24/7.

For additional information regarding delays in blood testing, please see: https://www.postcrescent.com/story/news/investigations/2018/02/22/owi-blood-tests-taking-longer-analyze-wisconsin-lab-records-show/334275002/.