The implications of the scandal reach across the state. While prosecutors, Michigan State Police and law enforcement agencies across the state hope the impact of the breathalyzer accuracy scandal will be limited in scope, there is little doubt that drunk driving arrests and convictions will be reexamined all over Michigan.
The State Police have already identified 52 cases that could be affected by results from breathalyzers that were not properly calibrated and maintained. A high-ranking officer in the department recently told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Michigan State Police are investigating possible criminal fraud charges against the company responsible for the state’s 203 Datamaster DMT breathalyzers.
The devices are used to test the breath of drivers suspected of drunk driving. So far, seven cases in which OWI (operating while intoxicated) charges have been dismissed.
MSP has notified police departments – including the City of Brighton Police Department – that it recommends that all law enforcement agencies gather blood-draw evidence rather than breathalyzer evidence until its audit of all breathalyzer units has been completed. A spokesperson for MSP says the audit might take up to three months to finish.
The spokesperson said MSP will then alert prosecutors to problems in Livingston and other counties to help them determine the impact on drunk driving cases.
According to news reports, law enforcement officials believe the company that maintains the state’s Datamaster DMT evidential breath alcohol-testing devices has falsified certification records and that some machines, at least, were not properly calibrated.
If you are facing drunk driving charges (OWI/DUI/DWI) in Brighton or anywhere else in Livingston County, contact a firm that understands the law, sobriety testing and aggressive criminal defense.