Over 200 Breathalyzers were removed from service while the Michigan State Police investigates allegations of fraud and forgery. One of the three vendors who service the state’s Breathalyzers is suspected of committing white collar crimes. It is not yet clear how this would affect drivers who were charged with drunk driving after being tested by machines that may not have been calibrated.
Until the matter is resolved, blood tests will be used to determine the blood alcohol levels of suspected drunk drivers instead of Breathalyzers. Reportedly, the vendors are responsible for servicing the machines three times per year, and also when daily calibrations fail. The devices calibrate automatically at 4 a.m. each day, and any malfunction also triggers an inspection by the vendor.
MSP reports that two employees of one vendor said that the vendor’s documents showed them servicing machines on days when they could prove they did not service Breathalyzers. Nevertheless, authorities say they believe that the readings that were used in evidence against suspected drunk drivers were accurate. However, there is no telling until all 203 Breathalyzers are checked for accuracy, and there are certainly issues that defense counsel will want to address in court.
In a case such as this one, it is not only the alleged white collar crimes perpetrators who could benefit from the experience of a Michigan criminal defense attorney. All those individuals who were charged and convicted of drunk driving based on Breathalyzer readings that made up the key evidence against them may be entitled to have their convictions vacated. It is unclear at this time how authorities will deal with these matters, though anyone potentially affected should discuss the matter with their legal counsel.