Michigan State Police Issue Stop Order on Error-Ridden Intoximeters
On January 7th, the Michigan State Police issued a stop order with its DataMaster DMT contractor, Intoximeters Inc. Intoximeters is responsible for maintaining and auditing the DataMaster DMTs used in breath testing for Operating While Intoxicated offenses. This stop order could have major effects on those already convicted of drunk driving.
Generally, if you are stopped for a suspected drunk driving offense, the police officer will run you through a series of field sobriety tests, such as the walk-and-turn, the one-leg stand, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus. You will most likely be asked to submit to a roadside Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) as well. The PBT measures the amount of alcohol content in your blood. The police officer then will make a determination based on the results of the field sobriety tests and the PBT if there is probable cause to arrest you for drunk driving. If so, generally, you will be taken to the police department and asked to submit to a DataMaster test.
In summary, the DataMaster is a larger (and allegedly) more accurate PBT. The DataMaster must be calibrated correctly. If it is not, defense attorneys can often argue that the results from the DataMaster are not reliable due to incorrect calibration and thus may result in a not-guilty verdict. The Michigan State Police have admitted that there have been “performance-related issues” with Intoximeters, and that cases have been impacted by the contractor errors. The recent news article states:
“Review of vendor records in the last 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… it is concerning that it appears as though some certification records have been falsified.”
The Michigan State Police have opened a criminal investigation into criminal charges relating to the forgery of public documents. They have shared information on what cases may have been impacted by these performance-related issues with prosecutors but have not made that information available to the public as of yet.
To learn more, you can visit the link to the full article here. Those currently charged with a drunk driving offense in a case where errors occurred have a significant defense and should speak with an experienced attorney before taking a plea offer.
If you have already been convicted of a drunk driving offense in a case where an error has been determined to occur, you may have an opportunity to have your conviction overturned. In either case, we can help. Contact Tanis Schultz for a confidential consultation. We can be reached at (616) 227-3737 or by submitting a contact form here.