Michigan’s alcohol breath test devices are back amid probe

Posted at 5:53 AM, Feb 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-13 06:14:07-05

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — All 203 of Michigan’s alcohol breath testing devices are back in service amid a fraud investigation of the company that supplies the equipment.

The Michigan State Police launched a criminal investigation last month into contract employees with Intoximeters Inc. and suspended its contract after evidence suggested the company falsified records and misrepresented the devices’ accuracy.

State police had announced that all Datamaster DMT devices had been sidelined until the agency could verify that each was properly calibrated, the Detroit Free Press reported. Nearly 40 devices were back online a few days later.

The machines were certified around the end of January, First Lt. Michael Shaw said Tuesday.

The devices are used at local police stations and detention centers to test blood-alcohol levels in cases of suspected drunken driving.

While the devices were our of service, police departments were instructed to conduct blood draws.

The Missouri-based company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

State police say they found the technicians were unable to maintain and certify the machines in a timely fashion, while incorrectly recording data from the tests and sharing password information with jail staff in August 2019.

Their actions caused impaired driving cases in Montcalm County and Wayne County to be dismissed, police previously said.

As of January, police identified eight machines and 52 cases with discrepancies in records.

No charges have been filed and no further suspects or problems with cases have been identified, Shaw noted.