Accuracy of breathalyzers thrown into question amid Michigan State Police investigation

by

comment
SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • Shutterstock.com

Michigan State Police are investigating three contract employees who ensure the accuracy of breathalyzers used during traffic stops after authorities discovered "performance-related issues" and possible fraud.

State police notified law enforcement officers across the state to stop using more than 200 breathalyzers from longtime vendor Intoximeters.



The investigation focuses on three Intoximeters contract employees, who were responsible for certifying and calibrating Datamaster DMT breathalyzers to ensure they are accurate.

Investigators said they suspect fraud after finding discrepancies in paperwork.



Stopping the use of the breathalyzers "is an absolutely necessary move to safeguard the integrity of the criminal justice process," Michigan State Police Director Col. Joseph Gasper said in a news release.

"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," Gasper says.

In a letter to law enforcement officers across the state, state police said prosecutors have been alerted to the suspected fraudulent activity.

"Prosecutors with cases impacted by the contractor errors identified by the MSP have already been notified," Michigan State Police Maj. Greg Zarotney wrote to law enforcement officials. "However, out of an abundance of caution, we are examining all available data to determine if any additional tests are impacted by the contractor errors."

The following law enforcement agencies were using breathalyzers with "possible discrepancies": 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

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.