GREENVILLE, N.C. -
The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office hopes a new grant will cut down the wait time for driving while impaired cases slated for trial.
The Sheriff’s Office is currently building a DWI blood alcohol lab at the Pitt County Detention Center. In February, the Sheriff’s Office received a $250 million dollar grant from the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program.
"We're really excited about the project because we feel like this is going to have a great impact, not only on the judicial system, but on the local law enforcement,” said Pitt County Sheriff’s Office grant writer Melissa Larson.
Larson says the Pitt County District Attorney’s Office contacted them about a year ago about looking for grants to fund a lab.
Pitt County District Attorney Kimberly Robb says right now the current wait time for a pending DWI case, with a blood test, is up to two years. A wait Robb says is enabling people with pending cases to be on the roads with the ability to re-offend. Robb says her office has tried to cut down on pending cases with night court, but hopes the new lab will help eliminate the current backlog.
The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office hopes to have the lab up and running by the fall of this year.
Once the lab is up and running Robb says it should take a few months before the backlog is cleared. Additionally, Robb says a DWI case with a blood test could go to trial within six months of an arrest.