The toxicology laboratory for the District of Columbia, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) serves the residents of the District of Columbia and their families. The laboratory provides postmortem toxicological analyses of biological specimens for medical examiner casework. The results of those analyses support OCME by aiding the pathologists in determining the cause and manner of death. In addition, the laboratory offers testing services to both local and federal law enforcement agencies in the investigation of driving under the influence (DUI) and drug facilitated sexual assault (DFSA) casework. Furthermore, in 2011 the laboratory partnered with the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), as well as the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to develop a comprehensive breath alcohol testing program. The Toxicology Unit is comprised of toxicologists, technicians and administrative staff. The laboratory provides testing for approximately 1,700 cases per year in its state of the art facility. The staff maintains pertinent testing records, case files and biological evidence samples. In addition, the Unit provides courtroom testimony, which can encompass information pertaining to testing procedures, as well as the interpretation of the analytical results. The staff stays on the cutting edge of technology and drug trends by reading recent literature and by participating in scientific meetings and workshops on a routine basis.
It is of the utmost importance that the laboratory provides quality results that are both timely and comprehensive. The laboratory is routinely inspected by the American Board of Forensic Toxicology and continues to maintain its fully accredited status.