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State police investigating contractor tasked with overseeing breath alcohol test equipment

Government of Prince Edward Island

Michigan state police announced on Monday that they have suspended the use of their breath alcohol testing equipment after finding what they call  “discrepancies” with the equipment.

All 203 of the state’s breath alcohol testing devices have been taken out of service as the state investigates  discrepancies.

Specifically, state police say that there were “egregious” discrepancies in the certification of equipment. The certification is overseen by an outside contractor.

Lt. Dave Cope is with the Michigan State Police.

“It’s my understanding that there was some certification record that may have been falsified. Hence the investigation into possible criminal wrongdoing,” he said.

According to Cope, the breath alcohol test equipment, called Datamasters, was taken out of service to protect the criminal justice system.

“The integrity of the criminal justice process is important obviously. So to make sure that we’re safeguarding that integrity that’s the reason these Datamaster instruments have been placed temporarily out of service.”

County prosecutors have been informed of the problem and will determine any impact on drunk driving cases.

Cope said it is not clear how long the discrepancies may have been occuring.

“Our agency is trying to determine the period of time that these discrepancies may affect some of these instances,” he said. “That’s obviously still ongoing at this time to determine if this is an isolated issue or it is more widespread.”

In the meantime police are advised to use blood draws to establish evidence of drunk driving.

A spokesperson for the certification company, Intoximeters, did not respond to our request for comment.