Michigan State Police is investigating potential fraud committed by contract employees of Datamaster vendor, Intoximeters.
MSP also moved to take all 203 Datamaster DMT evidential breath alcohol testing instruments out of service until MSP can inspect and verify each instrument to ensure it is properly calibrated.
Troopers said that in the interim period, they recommend that police agencies utilize blood draws rather than breath tests to establish evidence of drunk driving.
On Friday, Jan. 10, MSP alerted prosecutors and police departments statewide that a stop order was issued on the current contract due to performance-related issues.
Troopers said Intoximeters employs three contract employees who were responsible for servicing all 203 Datamaster DMT instruments in the state. Troopers said records from these service sessions are in question.
MSP personnel has taken over responsibility for ensuring all Datamaster DMTs are certified, calibrated and serviced according to state law and industry standard.
Troopers said that review of vendor records in the law two days has yielded additional discrepancies that may point to the potential for a more widespread issue with the way in which some instruments were being serviced. They said 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.
As a result of the discrepancies, MSP said they opened a criminal investigation that is looking into possible forgery of public documents.
MSP said a properly calibrated and maintained Datamaster DMT is an extremely reliable instrument, which is why issuing the stop order, placing the instruments temporarily out-of-service and assuming responsibility for maintaining all Datamasters in the state is an extreme move that places a burden on all of the state’s law enforcement resources, but it is an absolutely necessary move to safeguard the integrity of the criminal justice process.
Troopers said they will conduct a thorough and complete investigation. They said if they find that criminal acts occurred, they will pursue criminal charges against those responsible. They said they will also pursue any remediation available to the department, including possible legal action in order to recoup costs bore by the state.
Troopers said they do not know how many certification records were falsified or how long the deceptive practices occurred.
Troopers said the department sent a letter to Intoximeters in August of 2019 outlining grounds for breach of contract and requesting a corrective action plan.
Troopers believe the performance issues impact at least two of the three contracted employees, both of which were hired in 2018.
MSP is still in the process of reviewing vendor records. They said possible discrepancies have been identified to date involving Datamaster instruments at the following locations:
- 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
County prosecutors for each area have been notified of the issue and will determine any potential impact on drunk driving cases. When a discrepancy arises, it can be efficiently remedied through proper testing and inspection done by certified personnel.
Troopers said MSP has been working since mid-2018 to strengthen the state’s breath alcohol testing program by hiring a technical leader in the MSP Forensic Science Division to provide oversight, and it was through this work that the discrepancies were identified.