But the Twitter feed of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association notifies us that this is "Already in law; see CCP Art. 42.12 Sec. 11(a)(19)," and indeed, that provision authorizes judges to require defendants to "[r]eimburse a law enforcement agency for the analysis, storage, or disposal of raw materials, controlled substances, chemical precursors, drug paraphernalia, or other materials seized in connection with the offense." It does seem like "analysis" of "raw materials" and "controlled substances" would get you there.
Another solution looking for a problem.
The real issue appears to be that the Harris County DA doesn't seek reimbursement. Reported Collier:
Criminal Court-at-Law Judge Sherman Ross, presiding judge for misdemeanor courts, said he never has gotten a recommendation from prosecutors to include the cost of blood draws in restitution orders. It is not a concept he would advocate for, he said, but it "doesn't sound unreasonable" and he would consider accepting a prosecutor's recommendation, assuming the defendant could pay for it.Ironically, decisions by the new DA Devon Carter are driving higher costs for DWI lab testing, Collier reported:
"I don't think anybody's interested in ordering something that's simply uncollectable," he said. "I think it's part of the cost of doing business as far as the agencies are concerned, and if there was a way to do it without diminishing our effectiveness, then I think that decision should be made by the district attorney."
Last April, District Attorney Devon Anderson began enforcing "no refusal" traffic stops every day.The reason DWI defendants aren't charged for blood tests isn't that the law won't allow it but that, in reality, the state already soaks DWI defendants (in addition to fines, probation fees and court costs they still have to pay their Driver Responsibility Surcharge) and the juice typically isn't worth the squeeze.
That decision and other factors mean the county toxicology lab's case load will continue to grow, officials said.
"We pride ourselves on becoming increasingly more efficient," crime lab Director Roger Kahn said, "but there comes a point when our responsibilities begin to exceed our capability and our capacity."