Michigan State Police error may have affected statewide blood alcohol test results

- State police say four thousand blood alcohol samples were tested using a wrong calibration model.

This happened over a four-month period between December of 2015 and April of this year and it's making some wonder what else state police may have gotten wrong.

Just how drunk is drunk?

It's a question some feel is worth asking after Michigan State Police says more than 2,000 of its blood alcohol test results were wrong and had to be corrected because of a calibration error.

MSP says the results were off by a hair and there were no borderline samples with corrected results that pushed them over or below the legal blood alcohol limit of .08.

State police gave prosecutors a heads up about the mishap, even so the admission is not buying much goodwill.

"If they're admitting the calibration was off and then at the same time saying these results were not affected by that, I believe that's a falsehood," said DUI attorney Kevin Bessant. "I guarantee you there have been some people behind this that have been convicted and have a DUI on their record or may have even been sent to jail or prison for an error that's not their fault."

The Wayne County Prosecutor's office says it's prosecuted or is currently trying about  89 cases with the iffy test results. But Michigan State Police says of the 2,000 results that had to be corrected, only 66 were lowered and only 18 worked out in favor of defendants.

The bad results had them pegged as "Super Drunk," their blood alcohol levels higher than .17 when it should've been a tad bit lower.

"Whether you have five DUI cases or 100 DUI cases they should all be reopened and examined," Bessant said.

State police learned about the bad results in April during a routine case review.

Spokeswoman Shanon Banner says: "This error has not occurred before, and additional procedures and safeguards were put in place to prevent it from occurring again."

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office says it will work to resolve any issues that come up because of this.

The Macomb County Prosecutor's Office says the test results made no difference in the cases they have already tried but they are reviewing current cases.

If you were arrested or ticketed for an alcohol infraction during that period and you think the bad test results may have impacted your blood alcohol level you may want to contact your local prosecutor's office.
 

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