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Technician Sentenced for Falsifying Records of Breathalyzer Instruments
December 17, 2020
LANSING – A technician who was contracted through a vendor to service the DataMaster DMT (DataMaster Transportable) breath alcohol testing instruments for the Lower Peninsula was sentenced to jail time and probation recently for forging records for that equipment. The DataMaster DMT (often referred to as a breathalyzer) is the evidentiary instrument used by law enforcement across Michigan to measure the breath alcohol level of motor vehicle drivers suspected of being under the influence of alcohol.
David John, 59, of Kalamazoo, was sentenced Monday by Judge Paul Bridenstine in Kalamazoo County 9th Circuit Court to 36 months’ probation with the first nine months to be served in the Kalamazoo County Jail with credit for one day served.
John pleaded guilty on Oct. 28 to all nine charges he faced:
- Three counts, forgery of a public record;
- Three counts, uttering and publishing; and
- Three counts, use of a computer to commit a crime.
“Mr. John’s crimes were not just a violation of his contractual obligations – his actions compromised the integrity and the public's faith and confidence in the criminal justice system,” Nessel said. “His failure to uphold the trust placed in him by the people of this state is an egregious act of misconduct, and he will now be held accountable for that behavior. I am grateful for the work of our department’s Public Integrity Unit and the coordination and support of the Michigan State Police throughout this process to ensure the matter was handled with the public’s best interest at the forefront.”
The Michigan State Police (MSP) had a contract with Intoximeters Inc. to provide ongoing maintenance and repairs, as well as 120-day on-site inspections on each of the 203 DataMaster DMTs in the state. Each Intoximeters technician – including David John – was required to physically visit each site to conduct various diagnostic verifications, calibrations and repairs.
John falsified three certifications for the DataMaster DMT instrument in the Alpena County Sheriff’s Department. Those false certifications were dated Nov. 14, 2019, Dec. 23, 2019, and Dec. 27, 2019.
He created the November certification on a spare DataMaster DMT instrument he had in his Kalamazoo home and the December certifications were cut and pasted to create the two false certifications. He then submitted them as accurate and as having been completed on the Alpena County DataMaster DMT instrument.
Discrepancies in some submitted diagnostic reports came to light during a routine technical review by MSP’s Breath Alcohol Program on Jan. 2, 2020. After the issue was discovered, MSP temporarily removed all instruments from service and launched an investigation, notifying both its criminal justice partners and the public of its discovery.
MSP promptly began working with the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Unit. A four-month investigation resulted in charges being filed in May against John and Andrew Clark, 54, of Oxford. Citing a lack of venue and evidence, Judge Julie O’Neill of the Eaton County 56-A District Court on Dec. 9 dismissed the charges filed against Clark. The Attorney General’s office is continuing to review that decision.