Every DUI case in Nashville , Tennessee and every where else in Middle Tennessee is being delayed by the blood alcohol tests. Once a person submits to a blood alcohol test , the sample is send to one of three forensic labs run by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. According to a memo send to the Administrative Office of the Courts , the turn around time on blood alcohol tests is about six weeks. I am guessing that is six weeks from receipt of the sample. The real problem is in the testing for drugs.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation first runs a test for alcohol.Currently,the testing of the sample is complete if the results are .08 BAC or higher. If the sample is less than .08 BAC , the sample is retested if requested by the arresting officer. According to the March memo , there is a 32 week turnaround time for a drug toxicology report performed by the Nashville lab. Why a 32 week delay ? Where does the blood sample sit for the 32 weeks ? What about the chain of custody ? Are you being denied a speedy trial ? Under severe bond conditions ? There are a host of problems that are caused by the delay.
Here is the big question. Due to the pressure to get these test results out , are the labs now taking short cuts ? Let’s hope not .