MSP pulls breath alcohol testing equipment, cites possible vendor fraud

Michigan suspends breathalyzer contract over testing results

Michigan suspends breathalyzer contract over testing results

The contract is for a device called the Datamaster DMT breathalyzer.

The Michigan State Police has suspended a contract with the company that handles the state's breathalyzer testing devices.

Police say that some prosecutors overseeing drunk driving cases have been notified of the error, and that all appropriate cases are being reexamined to determine whether or not a faulty device played any factor in a reading. DataMaster machines are used to determine a driver's blood-alcohol level. However, the PBT can not be introduced in court as evidence of impaired driving. The records completed during servicing are those that are in question.

As of the statement released on January 13, MSP believes the performance issues in question affect two of the three contract employees, according to the statement.

Intoximeters was hired by the state as an independent contractor to handle that task. The instruments have been taken out of service until each one can be checked for proper calibration.

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During the period the instruments are out of service, state police officials are recommending police department conduct blood draws rather than breathe tests to establish evidence of drunk driving.

Authorities say they will keep using the devices, and in the meantime Michigan State Police will take over the contractor's duties of certifying and calibrating them. That same month, Intoximeters responded with a corrective action plan.

State police Lt. Michael Shaw said a stop order was immediately issued as soon as they "noticed some issues with the vendor that was responsible for maintenance and auditing the DataMasters around the state".

Review of vendor records in the last two days has yielded additional discrepancies that may point to the potential for a more widespread issue with the way in which some instruments were being serviced. When issues rose again shortly after that, the MSP again contacted Intoximeters and we have been working with them to remedy the issues. Upon learning of additional and more egregious discrepancies, I am no longer comfortable having police agencies using these instruments until we can be confident they are certified, calibrated and serviced according to state law and industry standard. Possible discrepancies have been identified at Alpena County Sheriff's Department, Beverly Hills Police Department, Detroit Detention Center, Montcalm County Sheriff's Department, Niles Police Department, Pittsfield Township Police Department, Tecumseh Police Department and Van Buren County Sheriff's Department, according to the statement.

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