LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State Police has launched a fraud investigation into the company that supplies the state's breathalyzer devices. State police last week suspended the contract with St. Louis-based Intoximeters Inc. due to performance-related issues.
According to The Detroit News, a letter was written to police and prosecutors statewide alerting them about problems with the devices. Police said this letter was written on Jan. 10 and they are now investigating possible fraud committed by the contractors who supply the breathalyzers.
On Monday, the agency announced it is taking all 203 Datamaster DMT breathalyzer devices out of service until it can be determined the instruments are properly calibrated.
"While the discrepancies do not directly impact or deal with the results of evidential breath tests, it is concerning that it appears as though some certification records have been falsified," MSP said in a statement.
In the meantime MSP will take over the contractor's duties of certifying and calibrating them. MSP said they are taking all of the company's testing instruments out of service until they can inspect and verify them.
"In the interim period, the MSP recommends that police agencies utilize blood draws rather than breath tests to establish evidence of drunk driving," the statement said.
MSP also opened a criminal investigation looking into the possible forgery of public documents. State police emphasized that the breathalyzers are typically and "extremely reliable instrument" and issued a stop order was an extreme move.
"But it is an absolutely necessary move to safeguard the integrity of the criminal justice process," MSP said.
MSP identified discrepancies in breathalyzers from the following departments and sheriff's offices:
- 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
- Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department
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