Breath Test Program and Training Information

Use of DMT's and PBT's During COVID-19 Pandemic

The Michigan State Police (MSP) has not suspended the use of Datamaster DMT or preliminary breath testing. During the COVID-19 pandemic, MSP supports officers seeking blood, if possible, to reduce their risk to the exposure of COVID-19. It is recognized that breath testing should remain available during this time because conducting a breath test instead of a blood test will help reduce some of the strain that our medical communities are facing during this time. Additionally, blood testing may not be available in some areas due to the current conditions at hospitals and health care facilities. MSP understands and supports local policies, other agencies’ policies, and individual officer’s decisions that may reduce the use of these instruments. Users should utilize proper Personal Protective Equipment in accordance with their agency’s policies.

Regarding using and disinfecting either instrument, see below regarding procedures established by the MSP Breath Alcohol Program using manufacturer’s guidance:

DMT’S

It may be tempting to use hand sanitizers, Clorox wipes, Lysol spray and other chemicals to clean in and around the area of the DMT during this pandemic. It is recommended not to use any chemical cleaner on or in the area of the DMT. These products will interfere with the Monday morning accuracy test and may cause the DMT to remove itself from service.
• The Datamaster DMT shall remain ON and the Monday morning accuracy test needs to be recorded for accuracy.
• Do not use the DMT if you or the subject has been in close contact with someone with a cough, fever or other COVID-19 systems.
• Officers should wear gloves when using the DMT.
• Do not allow the suspect to touch the DMT or the breath tube, only placing tip of the mouthpiece in subject’s mouth.
• Always provide a new, sterile mouthpiece for each breath sample.
• If the subject is allowed to wash their hands prior to the breath test make sure they are using soap or hand sanitizer that does not contain alcohol. If they do they shall wait 15-20 before providing a breath sample.
• Don’t allow the subject to place fingers or anything in their mouth or on their face. Have them sit on their hands until the breath sample is completed.
• Keep area of DMT clean.

PBT’S

• PBT’s still need to be verified and a wet sample administered each month and recorded per the Administrative Rules for accuracy.
• Regularly clean Lifeloc breath alcohol testers with an antimicrobial cleaner or disinfectant that does not contain alcohol.
• Use extreme caution with hand sanitizer; this product should not be used near or by someone administering a test. Instead, follow the hand washing protocols outlined by the CDC.
• Do not allow the subject to touch the tester.
• Use a new, freshly opened mouthpiece for every test.
• Face the breath alcohol tester and subject so that they are blowing away from you.
• Take care not to touch the "wet" end of the mouthpiece even when wearing gloves. Both the EasyTab™ and L-360™ mouthpieces are designed for operator safety.
• Utilize the ejection tab on the mouthpiece to remove directly into the trash.

Questions can be directed to MSP-alcoholunit@michigan.gov

 

Breath Test Program and Training Information

The Michigan Department of State Police, Career Development Section, is responsible for the administration of the state's breath alcohol testing program, including the development and implementation of training programs. The programs provide guidelines for training state and local jurisdictions having traffic safety and law enforcement responsibilities. The department intends that the programs be of the highest quality and that they address the high-priority training needs of agencies that provide highway safety services.

The Career Development Section conducts operator training statewide on evidential and preliminary breath alcohol test instruments and maintains training records for all evidential instrument operators in Michigan. It is also responsible for supplying and maintaining evidential breath alcohol testing instruments. In addition, it acts as a clearing house for alcohol-related information, either supplying answers or making connections to other avenues needed for obtaining the requested information.

Evidential Breath Alcohol Testing

The DMT DataMaster breath alcohol test instrument was chosen in Michigan based upon a careful evaluation of all instruments available. It is manufactured by Intoximeters, Inc., of St. Louis, Missouri, and the operating principle of the instrument is based on infrared absorption. Infrared technology as applied to breath alcohol testing had its origin in the early 1980s. The DMT DataMaster evolved through the years to its present state-of-the-art instrument with expanding computer capabilities.

DataMasters are located at most sheriff departments around the state, and some local departments have purchased their own. All instruments are serviced by manufacturer representatives approved by the department under a maintenance contract. The DMT DataMaster is the test instrument used for evidential breath alcohol tests.

Preliminary Breath Alcohol Testing

Currently the Lifeloc FC10 is the primary preliminary breath alcohol test instrument used in Michigan.  The FC10 breath alcohol tester is manufactured in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, by Lifeloc Technologies.  The FC10 is a state-of-the-art breath alcohol tester that is software based and incorporates unique cutting edge technologies.  The Lifeloc FC10 includes direct BAC testing and passive alcohol screening in one instrument.  Passive testing does not require a mouthpiece and is perfect for rapid "zero tolerance" alcohol screening of subjects and "sniffing" of open containers.  FC10 provides audible and graphical breath flow and alcohol content indicators to signal important test situations such as insufficient breath, reverse breath flow, possible uncooperative subjects and a pre-indication of low, medium or high BAC subject levels.  Actual BAC results are displayed on the large easy to read display.  Lifeloc uses a lifetime warrantied 1 inch (2.54 mm) platinum fuel cell which is up to four times larger than electrochemical cells.  In passive testing, a unique double-pump breath sampling system ensures rapid testing of multiple subjects.  Advanced security and lock-out features eliminate unauthorized operation.  Because of the advanced FC10 design:

  • Results on a positive test register within 10 seconds.
  • You can take another test within 30 seconds after a positive.  Repeatability is not compromised.
  • Your FC10 will automatically take the test when it senses a deep lung sample is delivered.
  • Your FC10 will provide an accurate test, or else explain to you why it cannot, and even provide suggestions on how to proceed to complete an accurate test on your subject.
  • AA Alkaline or NiMH batteries last for about 160 "on" hours or up to 6,000 tests.

Most departments have at least one Lifeloc FC10 available for use by road officers, and some departments equip all road patrols with one.

The Lifeloc FC10 is used for preliminary breath alcohol testing.

Alcohol Laws Summary

Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)

A person, whether licensed or not, shall not operate a vehicle upon a highway or other place open to the general public or generally accessible to motor vehicles, including an area designated for the parking of vehicles, within this state if either of the following applies:

1) The person is under the influence of intoxicating liquor, a controlled substance, or a combination of intoxicating liquor and a controlled substance.
2) The person has an alcohol content of 0.08 grams or more per 100 milliliters of blood, per 210 liters of breath, or per 67 milliliters of urine.
3) The person's ability to operate the motor vehicle is visibly impaired due to the consumption of alcoholic liquor, a controlled substance, or a combination of alcoholic liquor and a controlled substance.

Impaired Driving

A person, whether licensed or not, shall not operate a vehicle upon a highway or other place open to the general public or generally accessible to motor vehicles, including an area designated for the parking of vehicles, within this state when due to the consumption of an intoxicating liquor, a controlled substance, or a combination of an intoxicating liquor and a controlled substance, the person's ability to operate the vehicle is visibly impaired.

Zero Tolerance

A person who is less than 21 years of age, whether licensed or not, shall not operate a vehicle upon a highway or other place open to the general public or generally accessible to motor vehicles, including an area designated for the parking of vehicles, within this state if the person has any bodily alcohol content.  Any bodily alcohol content means either of the following:

1) An alcohol content of 0.02 grams or more but less than 0.08 grams per 100 milliliters of blood, per 210 liters of breath, or per 67 milliliters of urine.

2) Any presence of alcohol within a person's body resulting from the consumption of alcoholic liquor, other than consumption of alcoholic liquor as a part of a generally recognized religious service or ceremony.

Operating With The Presence Of Any Drug (OWPD)

A person, whether licensed or not, shall not operate a vehicle upon a highway or other place open to the general public or generally accessible to motor vehicles, including an area designated for the parking of vehicles, within this state if the person has in his or her body any amount of a controlled substance listed in schedule 1 under section 7212 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.7212, or a rule promulgated under that section, or of a controlled substance described in section 7214(a)(iv) of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.7214.

Transport/Possess Open Liquor in a Motor Vehicle

A person shall not transport or possess alcoholic liquor in a container that is open or uncapped or upon which the seal is broken within the passenger compartment of a vehicle upon a highway or other place open to the general public or generally accessible to motor vehicles, including an area designated for the parking of vehicles, within this state.

A person may transport or possess alcoholic liquor in a container that is open or uncapped or upon which the seal is broken within the passenger area of a vehicle upon a highway or other place open to the general public or generally accessible to motor vehicles, including an area designated for the parking of vehicles in this state, if the vehicle does not have a trunk or compartment separate from the passenger area, and the container is in a locked glove compartment, behind the last upright seat, or in an area not normally occupied by the operator or a passenger.

Open intoxicants in a limousine are subject to special provisions. Open alcohol may be transported in the passenger compartment, where separated from the driver, in a bus or limousine that is licensed with the Michigan Department of Transportation as a chartered vehicle.

Possess/Consume Liquor by Minor

A person less than 21 years of age shall not purchase or attempt to purchase alcoholic liquor, consume or attempt to consume alcoholic liquor, or possess or attempt to possess alcoholic liquor.