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'Contractor errors' lead Michigan State Police to maintain alcohol breath test machines

Officer of Portland Police Department tests a volunteer with Breathalyzer machine, Photo Date: August 2009
Officer of Portland Police Department tests a volunteer with Breathalyzer machine, Photo Date: August 2009(KMVT)
Published: Jan. 13, 2020 at 2:29 PM EST
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(1/13/2020) - Michigan State Police are taking over maintenance and calibration of alcohol breath testing machines after authorities discovered "contractor errors."

State laws require the Michigan State Police to purchase, certify and maintain the 203 Datamaster DMT machines at police agencies around the state, which are used to determine the blood alcohol content of suspects.

The agency contracted with a vendor to perform the service work for more than 20 years. But that contract was frozen on Jan. 7 due to "contractor errors," according to a letter from Michigan State Police dated Jan. 10.

Michigan State Police officials already certified in calibrating and maintaining Datamaster machines are taking over all of the contractor's work effective immediately.

Officials have not described what specific issues the contractor caused.

Police have talked with prosecutors with cases affected by the problem and are analyzing data to look for other problems with tests completed on the Datamaster machines.

Watch ABC12 News at Six for more information about how the issues could affect cases involving blood alcohol tests.

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