South GA gets first in-house DUI testing capabilities

In-house DUI testing now available at Valdosta crime lab

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - The Valdosta Police Department (VPD) said its new DUI testing capabilities will save innocent people’s time, law enforcement’s energy and the taxpayers’ money.

Officials said this is the only local DUI accredited laboratory in the state of Georgia.

“We’re extremely excited. This has been a goal of the crime laboratory since 2010," said Crime Lab Director Becky Parker-Hall.

After 18-months of training, Hall said they can now perform blood-alcohol testing in-house. Something Valdosta Police Chief Leslie Manahan said they are excited to have as a resource in South Georgia.

“Prosecution is fast and this is going to speed it up. In the past, we’ve had to wait months for the GBI to get results. With our lab being able to handle this, we’re going to have results in a couple of weeks," said Manahan.

An exciting feature that she said is beneficial for the entire community.

“We’re making sure people are held accountable for their actions and cases aren’t getting dismissed in court," said Manahan.

They’re also hoping to help those who are just waiting in jail and costing the taxpayers money.

“Whether it’s someone being held in jail and the evidence shows that they did not do something or somebody that’s been in jail, continuing to wait on evidence to be processed before they get sentenced," said Manahan.

Hall said it has been a long time coming. She said they just had to make sure they had the time and manpower to take on this added responsibility.

“Being able to do the things that we do now well. We cannot sacrifice quality in any way, so we took our time and we did it the right way," said Hall.

Hall said it just adds to the list of things they already do, such as fingerprinting examination, firearms testing, crime scene analysis and more.

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