Man blames in-car breathalyzer test for crash that killed 18-year-old Michigan native

Alexis Butler/WOODTV
Alexis Butler/WOODTV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A man who hit and killed a young woman last week is blaming his court-ordered in-car breathalyzer test.

Alexis Butler, 18, who attended Battle Creek Lakeview High School, was killed Friday in a crash near Arlington, Texas.

Butler was hit by a pickup truck after leaving a friend's house not far from her home. The driver of the truck told police he was looking down when the crash happened.

The driver said he was breathing into a court-ordered breathalyzer test that prevents a vehicle from running if the driver has been drinking. 

The driver said he was ordered to blow into an ignition interlock device every 15 to 20 minutes while driving to show he had not been drinking. He said that’s why his eyes left the road.

“More importantly for us as a police department is to determine what the manufacturer recommendation is as far as the guidelines in how to operate this type of equipment,” Arlington Police Department Lt. Chris Cook told Dallas-Fort Worth NBC affiliate KXAS. “It’s very concerning to us as a police department that an individual may be operating some type of ignition equipment while they’re in a moving vehicle.”

WOODTV spoke to Intoxalock, the maker of the devices in Michigan:

“We are very saddened to hear about the accident, and more importantly, that a life was lost,” the company said in a statement. “In almost one million customers, we’ve had a handful allege that they caused an accident while engaged in a retest. However, in all of those situations the data pulled from the device provided irrefutable evidence that a retest was not in progress at or near the time of the accident.”

Butler’s family released the following statement to NBC 5:

“She was larger than life - everyone loved Lexxy - Her laugh, her smile, her bubbly personality. She touched so many people’s lives in just her short 18 years, more than most will touch in a lifetime. Her legacy will continue to live on through her final selfless act of organ and tissue donation, which she elected. She will continue to touch lives even in death. We know we’ll see Lexxy again in Heaven and she’ll be an angel watching over us.”

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