The State of Michigan has announced it is taking the extreme measure of immediately pulling its entire fleet of DataMaster DMT breath testing devices used in DUI cases out of service. The reason why and the extent of the problem is not fully known as of January 15, 2020. The reason we are unsure is that the State of Michigan is not being completely forthcoming with what the actual problem is.
While Indiana does not use the DataMaster DMT, the actions of the manufacturer are relevant to breath tests conducted in the State of Indiana. The best Indiana DUI lawyers understand this fact and will be seeking information from the Indiana State Department of Toxicology.
The Michigan issue is important to people accused of OWI-DUI in Indiana because the manufacturer of Michigan’s DataMaster DMT is also the manufacturer of Indiana’s Intox EC/IR II. The practices of the manufacturer are relevant for all of their breath machines. The manufacturer of the two machines is highly secretive and tries its best to keep information from the attorneys of people accused of having operated a vehicle while intoxicated.
The fact that they are now being accused of falsifying documents in another state should make the courts more willing to order detailed discovery in the State of Indiana. What we do know from Michigan is that the state is alleging that the current manufacturer of the DataMaster DMT may have falsified certification documents that allow for the breath evidence tickets produced by the machine to be automatically admissible at trial. That admissibility is one of the ways the state stacks the deck against the accused.
In Michigan, the machines are required to be certified as working properly every 120 days. If the machines are not certified within that time period, any test run on the machine is not automatically admissible. The allegation being reported is that although the records say they were certified in a timely manner, the Michigan State Police are saying the machines were actually not certified on the dates claimed. The Michigan State Police has admitted it has been aware of the potential problem for about a year. It did not seek to take corrective action until August 2019 and still did not advise prosecutors and defense attorneys of the problem for another four or five months. The number of machines impacted and the number of tests
impacted have not been determined.
In every single case, the accuracy and reliability of the breath testing process are critical. You need an attorney who can look behind the number printed on the breath evidence ticket to challenge that evidence in court while defending you. This is why if you or a loved one is facing a DUI charge in the State of Indiana, you should hire an attorney who actually knows how these machines are supposed to function. You need to hire an attorney who can investigate to ensure that the state can demonstrate that the result they seek to use at trial is accurate and reliable.
You need to hire Chuck Rathburn. Attorney Chuck Rathburn is the only person in Indiana who owns an EC/IR, an EC/IR II, a BAC DataMaster, and two DataMaster DMTs. He’s the only attorney who has been qualified by trial and appellate courts in eight states as an expert on the topic of breath testing. He trains lawyers, judges, and police officers about evidential breath testing. He is the person other DUI attorneys call to help them understand the breath test result in their clients’ cases. Please call the Rathburn Law Office at 317-671-8965 for a free consultation on the charges you or a loved one are facing.