Van Buren County’s breathalyzer gets OK

PAW PAW, Mich. (WOOD) — Van Buren County says it is again using its Datamaster breathalyzer machine.

The machine — and 202 other Datamasters across the state — were taken out of service earlier this week after Michigan State Police announced there were problems with its breathalyzer maintenance vendor’s servicing records.

On Wednesday, the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office said MSP staff had checked out the breathalyzer and that it was ready to go.

MSP is investigating whether two vendor workers committed fraud by falsifying breathalyzer service and certification records. Possible discrepancies were found in cases out of several law enforcement agencies, including the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office.

After the state cut off its contract with the vendor, Intoximeters out of St. Louis, MSP said it would take over servicing of the machines. Agencies across Michigan were told to use blood and urine tests to determine blood alcohol content levels in drunken driving cases until all the machines could be checked.

A breathalyzer is not the same as a portable breath test, which a driver suspected of drunken driving might take alongside the road. Breathalyzer tests are taken once a suspect is in police custody.