New Federal Lab Opens in Texas

A new, federally funded facility located in The Woodlands has opened to serve southeast Texas. Ten full time examiners will process blood evidence and test for drugs. The laboratory will serve Montgomery County and 10 counties north of Houston, and reduce the backlog of cases in the state. Currently the area is using an overwhelmed lab in Austin is being used for testing.

The lab is run by the Sam Houston State University. Drug tests and blood analysis can take up to a year to process in some Texas facilities. The new lab plans to handle 6000 cases a year, with results in as little as two weeks. This will help prosecutors involved with crimes such as sexual assault, drug possession and driving while intoxicated in Texas.

While the facility has opened, it must be accredited by the American Society of Crime Lab Directors and the Texas Department of Public Safety before accepting evidence in Texas criminal cases. That is expected to happen this fall.

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