DataMaster DMT devices are utilized throughout the State of Michigan, and in many other states to test Bodily Alcohol Content in suspected drunk drivers. To keep the units in working order, the State of Michigan has very strict guidelines for calibration and service of the machines.
On Friday, January 10, 2020 the Michigan State Police took over screening duties on all DataMaster DMT devices in the State of Michigan, and cancelled services with the vendor they have used for years. Over the weekend seasoned Defense Attorneys across the State of Michigan were left with only speculation regarding the issue. However the picture became more clear on January 13, 2020, when another letter was issued to individuals within the Criminal Justice community from the Michigan State Police.
At present it appears that contracted vendors are facing the very real possibility of criminal charges related to fraud for falsifying records related to the calibration of various machines across the State of Michigan. At present, the Michigan State Police does not know how many records were falsified or how long the falsifying of records took place. At a minimum, the Michigan State Police knows that there were issues at eight specific locations, with two of those locations being in SouthWest Michigan (Niles Police Department and Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department).
More strikingly though, the Michigan State Police has requested every department where it’s 203 DataMaster DMT devices are present to switch over to utilizing blood draws for the time being – which hints at the idea that the issues found at eight specific locations across the State of Michigan, may be the tip of the iceberg.
Additionally, we also know that in August of 2019, the Michigan State Police contacted its vendor requesting a Corrective Action Plan, based on breach of contract concerns. While the specifics of those contacts are not known at present, based on the information known, all drunk driving cases occurring in at least the past calendar year now have a question mark.
The Attorneys at Hills at Law, P.C. have submitted multiple Freedom of Information Act requests to the Michigan State Police and various other agencies to figure out what the extent of the issues are. There is an expectation that multiple current cases, and a number of closed cases (where a guilty plea was entered) throughout the State of Michigan, and specifically within SouthWest Michigan could be impacted.
If you or a loved one have dealt with, or are dealing with, a drunk driving matter, the Attorneys at Hills at Law, P.C. are equipped to walk you through this quickly changing landscape.