As previously reported, Michigan is in the process of placing a new breath testing instrument into service. This breath testing instrument is called a DataMaster DMT. Michigan has ordered a few hundred of these new breath testing units, and they are currently being evaluated by the Alcohol Enforcement Unit, Traffic Services Section of the Michigan State Police which is headquartered in East Lansing Michigan.
Michigan State Police Sergeant Perry Curtis is in charge of this Alcohol Enforcement unit and therefore of the evaluation of the DataMaster DMT. Also involved in the evaluation of the new DataMaster DMT are two toxicologist employed by the State Police, Dr. Michelle Glinn and Dr. Felix Adatsi, both of whom regularly appear on behalf of the prosecutor in drunk driving trials where they offer testimony in support of a defendant’s breath test results.
Both Dr. Glinn and Dr. Adatsi were in attendance earlier this year at the IACT conference. According to their web site, the International Association for Chemical Testing is an organization composed primarily of employees of governmental agencies involved in chemical testing in related traffic safety. They may be local, county, parish, state, national, or international level. The organization (IACT) was formed in March 1988, in Chicago, Illinois, as a result of a symposium sponsored by the Department of Transportation in 1987, in Boston, Massachusetts.
As part of the evaluation of the DataMaster DMT, Dr. Glinn attempted to do two things. First, make sure that the old and the new DataMaster would measure breath alcohol the same way, and second, debunk many of the common defenses to a breath test result.
Dr. Glinn presented her “research” at IACT which concluded that the new DataMaster DMT is just as good as the old one (the both give identical readings). Also, that none of the defense arguments or issues have merit. According to Dr. Glinn, these merit-less defenses include things like blood in the mouth, interfering substances, interfering RFI (radio frequency interference), objects in the mouth or length of blow (harder you blow, higher you go).
Dr. Glinn ended her presentation with “see you in court.” I must say, in response to Dr. Glinn, “I look forward to it.”
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