Scram Alcohol Monitoring

Many jurisdictions have started using SCRAM bracelets to monitor alcohol use following certain DUI convictions. SCRAM is short for Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring. SCRAM bracelets attach to a person’s ankle and look for the presence of alcohol in sweat. SCRAM bracelet programs are a form of continuous alcohol monitoring with the benefit of not requiring frequent in-person check-ins to test for alcohol use. Alternatively, an offender may have his or her car outfitted with an ignition interlock device (IDD) to monitor behavior.

In a growing number of states, judges may order or allow use of a SCRAM bracelet as a condition of parole, probation, or early release of those convicted of driving under the influence. Most often, judges order SCRAM bracelets for repeat DUI offenders. For a long time, judges have ordered certain DUI offenders not to drink any alcohol, particularly those who have shown a severe problem with alcohol. Sometimes, a SCRAM bracelet is merely an option for the offender instead of in-person testing.

SCRAM bracelets and any other technology for continuous monitoring of alcohol levels allow for easier enforcement of orders not to drink. They also don’t require the frequent in-person alcohol tests which can be burdensome for everyone involved.

SCRAM bracelets detect even minute amounts of alcohol present in a person’s sweat. Often, the person’s alcohol levels are checked once per hour by the ankle bracelet. Through a SCRAM bracelet modem, or in some places through a periodic manual download, SCRAM bracelets report the measurements to a regional monitoring center. If the wearer’s sweat contains alcohol, or if the person has tampered with the bracelet, the regional monitoring center will contact the appropriate authorities.

In general, the offender pays for SCRAM bracelet services. This can include the purchase of (or a deposit on) the bracelet itself, as well as monthly monitoring services. SCRAM bracelets are not cheap. In some places, the total cost per month can be hundreds of dollars. Offenders who can prove an inability to pay may be able to have their fees covered.

Alcohol use by someone who has been ordered to avoid drinking can constitute a parole or probation violation, and may result in jail time. While SCRAM bracelet results have been accepts by many courts, they have also been successfully challenged. Some defendants have argued that SCRAM bracelets give some false positives. If the defendant can convince the court that the prosecution has not presented adequate evidence of drinking, the court may reject SCRAM bracelet results. Some defendants have countered with witness testimony that he or she was not drinking, as well as expert testimony that the SCRAM results show unlikely drinking behavior based on when alcohol was detected and how long it stayed in the persons sweat.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a criminal charge, immediately contact a Seattle Criminal Attorneys. A Criminal lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle Criminal Lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their criminal charge, and many times even get them dismissed. So it should go without saying that someone cited for a misdemeanor or felony should hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Lawyer as soon as possible. Criminal charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with a crime in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle Criminal Lawyer.

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