How SCRAM Works

How SCRAM Works
Being convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) is no laughing matter. If you are found guilty of drinking and driving, you may be fined, lose your driver’s license, or even face jail time. In some cases, the court may also impose alcohol monitoring, a sentence that requires offenders to wear a SCRAM (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring) device on his or her ankle. If your state uses the SCRAM system as punishment for DUI, it is important to familiarize yourself with the basics of SCRAM and how it works—here’s what you need to know:

SCRAM bracelets must be worn 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The device must be set up by a law enforcement officer, and is typically installed around the subject’s ankle. A modem will also be installed in the person’s home to transmit information from the bracelet to a central monitoring agency.

One of the biggest advantages of the SCRAM system is its ability to provide constant monitoring services. A person wearing a SCRAM bracelet, for example, does not have to visit his or her probation officer for regular alcohol testing; instead, the device will repeatedly check for alcohol use throughout the day. This means it can detect even the smallest traces of alcohol intake.

The SCRAM bracelet checks its wearer’s alcohol content regularly using transdermal alcohol testing. Anytime alcohol is consumed, the body excretes the substance through the skin. SCRAM, in turn, monitors the user’s perspiration to identify any amount of alcohol. Depending on the specifications set forth by the court, anywhere from one to 48 alcohol tests can be administered each day—all without the subject’s knowledge.

Each time a test is performed, SCRAM records the results, along with the date and time of the test, in a small memory chip. This information is then transmitted to the monitoring agency once it is within the required range of the modem. If alcohol was detected, the agency will then provide this information to the appropriate law enforcement officials. As a result, the subject may face additional charges and/or penalties for violating the terms of his or her sentence.

In addition to detecting alcohol, SCRAM can also identify tampering. Trying to remove the bracelet, for example, or placing an object between the device and the skin will quickly notify the monitoring agency of the attempt.

If you have been convicted of DUI, the court may require you to wear a SCRAM bracelet as part of your sentence. Contact an experienced attorney in your area to discuss your state’s laws and determine whether alcohol monitoring may be included in your penalties.


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