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State police plan to bring breath alcohol equipment verification in-house, following discrepancies

Government of Prince Edward Island

Michigan state police say they will use in-house experts to calibrate breath alcohol test equipment.

The move follows discrepancies in the calibration that had been done by contract workers. Those discrepancies lead to the suspension of all 203 of the state’s breath alcohol test devices.

After a brief suspension the state’s breath alcohol test equipment is back in use.

First Lt. Michael Shaw is with the Michigan State Police. He said a criminal investigation is ongoing into two contract workers in charge of verifying the equipment.

“Once that’s completed we’ll get that over to the Attorney General’s office to take a look at it.”

Shaw said the Attorney General will ultimately decide whether to press charges against the two individuals.

According to Shaw the equipment was put back in service after it was approved by in-house experts. He said in the future the goal is to have in-house experts conduct performance checks.

“We have actual MSP enlisted members that have gone through the training those vendors went through. They are actual MSP employees no contracter no vendor.”

Christopher Wickman is with the Nichols Lawfirm in East Lansing, which primarily handles drunk driving cases. He said there are concerns about allowing the state police to oversee the devices.

“Here those concerns are furthered because they might not have the best interest at heart for catching and reporting issues if there are some in house as they reported with intoximeters out of house”

State police officials said it is not the alcohol test instruments that are in question but the following of administrative procedures by contractors.