Due to budget cuts and consolidation of forensic and medical examiners locations, The Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab in Augusta has been forced to service an additional five new counties. That brings the total number of counties under its jurisdiction to 19, straining blood testing at the lab. That in turn has affected the processing of evidence in cases of suspicion of driving under the influence in Georgia.
The average processing time for a blood test was four to five weeks before the additional caseload was assigned to the Augusta lab. Now the average is 12 weeks, with some cases taking as long as 25 weeks. Prosecutors can not proceed with cases of Georgia DUI without toxicology results and the criminal justice system has slowed dramatically.
The budget cuts that lead to the increased workload at the Augusta facility were due to a shortfall in state revenue that has been described as