crime lab
San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Regional Crime Laboratory. San Diego County Sheriff’s Department photo

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department received a nearly $1 million state grant that will be used for improving testing for drugs and alcohol, officials announced Wednesday.

The department’s Regional Crime Laboratory received $990,000 from the California Office of Traffic Safety. Laboratory workers will use the grant money for:

  • expanding blood alcohol testing capabilities to include other drugs, with a goal of meeting or exceeding toxicology screening standards of the National Safety Council’s Alcohol, Drugs and Impairment Division
  • training laboratory staff on new instrumentation and equipment that will identify drugs or other chemicals in DUI samples
  • providing quarterly data to partner agencies (including the California Office of Traffic Safety and California Highway Patrol) in the San Diego region, to allocate resources for education, intervention and roadway safety campaigns

According to the sheriff’s department, thorough testing provides stronger evidence for prosecution of DUI cases in court.

The grant also comes during National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month. The December holiday season “is one of the deadliest for impaired driving-related crashes,” according to the sheriff’s department.

City News Service contributed to this article.


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Ellen Bullock