The no-refusal this past weekend netted far fewer impaired drivers as weekends past. Only twelve impaired drivers were taken into custody during the targeted hours. The effort was an attempt to make the area safer as Ren-Fest drinkers left and returned south. There were no fatal crashes due to intoxication during these hours
The average blood alcohol content of the drivers that were arrested was .162 which is a little over twice the legal limit. Of the twelve nine voluntarily gave blood samples and three blood samples were taken after a search warrant was signed.
In addition to this blood samples are expected to be processed much faster than they were before. Effective Monday the new Crime Lab in the Woodlands run by Sam Houston State University has been totally accredited and signed off by the Texas Department of Public Safety to start processing those blood samples. Prior to that it would sometime take up to six months to get results back from DPS due to to the backlog. Now it can be just a matter of days.
This lab is expected to process almost 6,000 cases a year from up to 200 law enforcement agencies.
The director of the lab, Dr. Sarah Kerrigan who is from the United Kingdom received her training at Scotland Yard Forensic Science Laboratory in London. The manager of the lab is Mike Manes who has over 30 years experience as a deputy and running the Brazoria County Crime Lab.
The lab is funded by by a National Justice Institute grant and will eventually be funded by District Attorneys Offices who have agreed to pay a portion of their restitution fees.