Catawba Valley Medical Center will now be handling all DWI blood-testing for cases in the 25th District. The agreement is the result of funding set aside by the N.C. legislature to allow district attorney’s offices to pay for private testing.
“Three or four years ago, we began to see that time period, in which the State Bureau of Investigation (S.B.I) was getting its results back, to lengthen out,” said District Attorney James. C. Gaither, Jr.
Backups at the S.B.I. lab would sometimes cause results to be returned nearly two years after the test was administered. The backups led to the dismissal of some cases.
Gaither said, “Should a person be charged with a crime and the State not come forward with sufficient evidence to prosecute for 24 months or more?”
The deal between Catawba Valley Medical Center and the district attorney’s office will cover Burke, Caldwell and Catawba counties.