Notice Regarding 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