Breath-test issues are concerning

It’s beyond belief that possible errors in alcohol testing devices being used in Michigan could have been faulty, and thus inaccurate in their readings.

The identified potential problems with the breath-test devices that read blood-alcohol content could have a bearing on eight cases currently working their way through the Alpena County court system.

Michigan State Police officials announced this week they have suspended the contract with the company who produced the alcohol testing devices while they conduct an investigation into certain allegations after they discovered some “performance-related issues” with the machines.

“Based on new information learned over the weekend, the Michigan State Police (MSP) is aggressively investigating potential fraud committed by contract employees of Datamaster vendor, Intoximeters, and also moving today 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,” the State Police said.

Alpena County is one of the places that could be impacted by the machine’s readings. County Prosecutor Ed Black said there were eight cases between Nov. 26 and Dec. 22 where the machine was used, and those cases now will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis as to whether to proceed or not.

While the news is disappointing, it’s good to know Michigan State Police identified concerns early on, before too many more tests were administered.