Skip to search box Skip to main content

Toxicology Laboratory Section

The Toxicology Laboratory underwent a successful on-site two day inspection by the American Board of Forensic Toxicology in May 2016 and continues to be certified by the New York State Forensic Laboratory Certification Program.  The Laboratory will undergo mid-cycle review in June 2017 for recertification.

The Laboratory has strived to maintain a minimal postmortem case backlog for Pathologists and families of the deceased in order to expedite case resolution.  The Laboratory also continues to provide timely reporting of DWI/DUID alcohol and drug results for the District Attorney’s Office.  Toxicology also provides frequent consultations and expert testimony for the District Attorney’s Office on alcohol and drug testing results as well as on alcohol breath test cases.

In order to provide the best service possible to Pathologists and to aid in prosecution of DWI/DUID and Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault Cases, the Toxicology Laboratory continues to expand the scope of testing for new and relevant drugs of abuse that continually appear on the market.

The Laboratory continues to maintain the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) clinical drug testing permit to meet the demands of the Drug Testing Laboratory Program for the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, the Methadone Maintenance Treatment Program, and the Probation Department.  In order to be an accredited lab by DCJS in NYS, Toxicology is inspected by the American Board of Forensic Toxicology (ABFT).  DCJS provides grant funding to assist in meeting their criteria for accreditation. There are no specific demands by DCJS or ABFT to analyze (i.e., test for) for certain substances, other than ensuring that the Laboratory protocols are forensically acceptable.  DCJS has significantly increased its requirements of toxicology labs, including ours, and that trend will likely continue, requiring significant additional supervisory tasks/time.  There are also peer guidelines regarding limits of detection of relevant substances tested.  The Laboratory continually expands its scope of testing in order to provide the best services to pathologists and the Public Safety Departments.  DCJS and ABFT make basic recommendations on toxicological testing.

The Laboratory provides state-of-the-art forensic and diagnostic results for mandated programs, and personnel maintain Laboratory Technologists’ licenses in compliance with NYSDOH regulations.

DWI

The Toxicology Laboratory analyzes all blood and urine DWI/DUID samples collected in Suffolk County for alcohol and impairing drugs. Samples are taken in cases of fatalities, serious personal injuries and violations of Leandra's Law (driving impaired with a minor in the car). The laboratory provides timely and comprehensive reports to the District Attorneys' Office to aid in prosecution of DWI in Suffolk County. The Toxicology Laboratory also provides expert testimony in many of these cases. 

  

DWI/DUID Toxicology

Year Cases Received DWI/DUID Test Units
2012 914 10,818
2013 879 10,156
2014 703 9,167
2015 742 9,549
2016 705 12,663
2017 679 13,333

Drug Abuse Toxicology

The Toxicology Laboratory analyzes samples from Suffolk County Methadone Maintenance, taken to check for compliance with the methadone treatment program, for the presence of drugs. The Toxicology Lab also analyzes samples for Suffolk County Probation, taken as a condition of Probation, for the presence of drugs. Non compliance can result in a violation of probation.

Year Methadone Maintenance Samples Methadone Maintenance Test Units Probation Samples Probation Test Units
2012 31,749 51,032 14,495 25,044
2013 32,439 54,414 12,787 24,206
2014 31,274 52,489 8,431 16,815
2015 28,826 46,653 6.939 13,253
2016 29,584 51,190 6,534
2017 64,045 4,917 12,036

Postmortem Toxicology

The Toxicology Laboratory analyzes a wide variety of tissues and fluids obtained at autopsy for drugs and poisons to help pathologists certify cause of death. The laboratory is constantly updating the drugs tested to stay current with many of the synthetic “designer” drugs that are responsible for many of the increasingly frequent drug deaths in Suffolk County today.

Year Cases Toxicology Test Units
2012 1,327 16,602
2013 1,292 19,053
2014 1,255 20,479
2015 1,306 20,586
2016 1,473 21,789
2017 1,506 23,137

Suffolk County Government

H. Lee Dennison Bldg

100 Veterans Memorial Hwy
P.O. Box 6100
Hauppauge, NY 11788

Riverhead County Center

County Road 51
Riverhead, NY 11901