SPOKANE, Wash. – In a recent report, Idaho State Police Forensic Services (ISPFS) reported an uptick in toxicology cases in 2017.

Laboratory system locations in Meridian, Pocatello and Coeur d’Alene received 2,809 toxicology cases in 2017, according to a release from the Idaho State Police Department. That equals 31 more cases than in 2016 and 197 more than in 2015.

Eighty-one percent of DUI toxicology cases submitted in 2017 tested positive for one or more drugs, either legal or illegal. Almost 7 percent of the cases did not have drugs reported, according to the release.

Sixty-six percent of cases submitted were DUI.

The number fatal car crash cases also increased in 2017, according to the release. In the ten years prior, 70 cases were submitted per year compared to 87 cases submitted this year, an increase of about 25 percent.

The police department also reported other significant strides in blood toxicology this past year, as new methods were validated and four analysts were approved for casework. Decreased turnaround time is expected to continue in 2018.

Police have requested new instruments to keep up with the demands of Idaho population growth and law enforcement activities.

The full report is available online.