According to various local news sources, a majority of drunk driving alcohol tests performed by the Michigan State Police (MSP) between December 15, 2015 and April 23, 2016, were recently discovered to be inaccurate. These findings were reported in the Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, and on MLive.com. Of the 2,748 tests administered that measured BAC values above zero, a whopping 2,007 were found to have the wrong results. That’s almost 3 out of 4 tests. This inaccuracy was supposedly due to the MSP Forensic Science Division’s incorrect calibration model used to measure BAC levels.
Not surprisingly, MSP claims that none of the faulty tests are near enough to a BAC of 0.08 (Michigan’s blood alcohol limit) so that amended results would change the outcome of any cases. Some say that the MSP lab found the error, took appropriate corrective action, and informed the prosecutors and police agencies promptly is a sign that the testing system works. Others question that conclusion.
The lab has to admit that some cases will be affected, specifically where certain drivers were “super drunk,” or had a BAC of 0.17 or higher, which triggers enhanced punishment. And Wayne County prosecutors, who should be applauded for taking the high-road, are willing to admit that they believe up to 313 cases they prosecuted could be affected. Furthermore, the problem may have only been discovered because the lab was forced to change its testing systems because prior test equipment the lab used is no longer being manufactured. The Wayne County Criminal Defense Bar Association is asking that a neutral third party verify all of the lab’s results. Others are asking how many more times has this happened in the past where the mistakes were simply never discovered. Still others feel this calls into question the reliability of other MSP testing procedures and therefore the credibility of those results.
If you or someone you know was charged with an alcohol related driving offense and may have been administered one of these faulty tests between December of last year and April, you should know that there may be some legal options. This is especially true if the driver was found to be super drunk. If you or someone you know has been pulled over for drunk driving, driving while impaired, or driving while intoxicated, contact the Law Office of John Freeman, PLLC. We will not rush you into a plea when there may be a reason to fightf your testing results.