Drivers Could Pay Own DWI Tests in Harris County

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HOUSTON (AP) People convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Harris County could have to pay for their blood tests.

The Houston Chronicle on Monday reported county budget executive director Bill Jackson says he thinks defendants who are able should be required to pay for such tests. Jackson says he plans to explore options to make that happen, such as having judges require restitution.

Legislators in 2009 approved a law allowing search warrants for blood samples to be expedited if a person refuses to do a breath test. That's contributed to the number of blood draws tested by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences toxicology lab increasing fivefold by early 2013 - with no additional workers.

Lab officials are seeking additional money to hire more toxicologists.

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