Measuring Blood Alcohol Content with SCRAM

Measuring Blood Alcohol Content with SCRAM
Did you know that alcohol can be detected in your sweat? Indeed, when you drink, your body excretes alcohol through your skin via a process known as diffusion. As a result, perspiration can be used to determine the amount of alcohol in a person’s system via a process known as transdermal alcohol testing. The device most commonly used for this testing method is the SCRAM (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring) system. However, measuring blood alcohol content with SCRAM is a relatively new process and, as a result, little scientific research has been conducted to determine its effectiveness.

Typically worn around the ankle 24 hours a day and seven days a week, the SCRAM system is designed to keep a close eye on a person’s alcohol consumption. Offenders who are required to wear a SCRAM bracelet are prohibited from drinking any alcohol at all. If the device detects even a small trace of the substance, it will wirelessly transmit this information to a central monitoring agency.

Along with the exact time and date the alcohol was consumed, SCRAM also identifies the person’s blood alcohol content, skin temperature, and the time the alcohol was expelled. This information is then reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

Be aware, however, that SCRAM has been known to falsely detect alcohol in some cases.

Foods cooked with alcohol, for example, can trigger a false positive, as can certain baked goods such as chocolate cake, apple walnut bread, and raisin bread. Prolonged exposure to chemicals such as anti-freeze, wallpaper paste, and other common household supplies can also produce incorrect test result in many individuals. Even the body’s own metabolic functions can cause a person’s system to produce alcohol as certain foods are broken down and converted into energy.

Despite its flaws, the SCRAM system continues to be used in many states, and its results are often used to justify additional penalties and criminal charges. If you were recently charged with violating the terms of your alcohol monitoring system, make sure you discuss your case with an experienced DUI attorney in your area immediately.

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