DUI convictions across Metro Detroit could be impacted by breathalyzer flaw

There are 52 suspected drunk driving cases in jeopardy over faulty breathalyzers.
There are 52 suspected drunk driving cases in jeopardy over faulty breathalyzers.

DETROIT – Defense attorneys told Local 4 the problems with the Datamaster breathalyzer tools used by Michigan State Police could impact countless DUI convictions.

In Lansing, investigators told lawmakers Datamaster employees could be falsifying data -- and it now includes cases from Metro Detroit law enforcement agencies.

The Beverly Hills police in Oakland County had nine breath tests taken from January to June of 2019 that showed discrepancies that could be considered a criminal act by vendor employees who were supposed to make sure the devices were working correctly. Pittsfield Township in Washtenaw County has five tests under review. The department said it reviewed each case and found no problems and put the device back into service.

Wayne County Sheriff’s department immediately had their Datamaster breath test device checked out. Macomb County will not use the device and anyone who was stopped for a suspected DUI will now be sent for a blood draw. Ann Arbor police are taking the same precaution.

Local 4 legal expert Neil Rockind wants residents to keep in mind that MSP saw a problem with the company last summer.

About the Authors:

Shawn Ley is an Emmy-Award winning reporter. In more than 20 years covering stories in television news, Shawn’s reporting has taken him from war-torn eastern Europe, to reporting from an F-16 fighter jet and now to the fast and furious breaking news of Detroit.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.