2 charged with faking breathalyzer maintenance records

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — The Michigan Attorney General’s Office has charged two technicians with falsifying documents for the maintenance of breathalyzer machines.

According to a Friday release, Andrew Clark and David John were charged with felony forgery of a public record, uttering and publishing and using a computer to commit a crime — Clark with two counts each and John with three counts each.

Michigan State Police announced in January that they were investigating possible fraud by some of the contracted technicians tasked with maintaining 203 DataMaster DMT breathalyzer machines across the state. MSP told law enforcement across the state to stop using the machines and instead rely on blood tests to determine blood alcohol content levels until every one could be could be checked out.

Breathalyzers are not the same as portable breath tests drunken driving suspects would be asked to take roadside. Instead, a suspect would take a breathalyzer test after being taken back to a police station.

Authorities say Clark and John made up records saying they had tested or repaired two breathalyzers — one at the Beverly Hills Police Department near Detroit and one at the Alpena County Sheriff’s Office.

Clark, 53, of Oxford, has already been arraigned in Eaton County and allowed to remain free on personal recognizance. John, 59, of Kalamazoo, has not yet been arraigned because the Kalamazoo County court has reduced operations because of coronavirus. Both the forgery and uttering and publishing charges are punishable by up to 14 years in prison and the computer charge is a 10-year felony.

The state cut off its $1.26 million contract with Clark and John’s employer, St. Louis-based Intoximeters, in January and that contract was formally terminated April 9. MSP is now doing all the maintenance for the breathalyzers.