SCRAM Defenses

SCRAM Defenses
If you were recently convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), your sentence may include expensive fines, community service, probation, or even jail time. In some cases, the judge may also require you to wear an alcohol monitoring device known as a SCRAM system. Short for Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring, SCRAM is an alcohol monitoring bracelet that is worn around the ankle 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Although the device is designed to detect even the smallest traces of alcohol, there are numerous SCRAM defenses that can be used to challenge its results.

Unlike other alcohol testing methods, the SCRAM bracelet does not measure blood alcohol content (BAC), but instead monitors its wearer’s transdermal alcohol content (TAC). In simple terms, TAC is the amount of alcohol present in a person’s perspiration (the body rids itself of the substance through its sweat glands). This method, which is known as transdermal alcohol testing, can therefore identify any amount of alcohol present in your system.

Despite its sensitivity, the SCRAM bracelet is not without flaws. Because transdermal alcohol testing is a relatively new testing method, very few studies have been performed to determine its reliability. In fact, the device was initially introduced to compete with another alcohol monitoring system, and there was very little marketing research completed prior to its release in 2004.

Because the SCRAM bracelet can identify any amount of alcohol consumption, individuals who are required to wear the device are prohibited from drinking alcohol completely. As a result, even a tiny sip of beer or other alcoholic beverage can produce a positive reading from SCRAM—and unfortunately, this can lead to additional penalties and charges for violating the terms of your sentence.

However, all is not lost if the SCRAM system does identify traces of alcohol in your system. In many cases, the device has been known to produce false readings. For example, SCRAM is unable to distinguish between alcoholic beverages and food alcohols—which means you could test positive for alcohol if you eat certain foods. Taking certain medications or being around some chemicals can also lead the SCRAM bracelet to incorrectly presume you have alcohol in your system.

Although SCRAM systems are often unreliable, challenging them can be difficult. As a result, it is important to have legal representation if you want to fight your alcohol test results in court. An experienced attorney will carefully review your SCRAM reports to check for potential errors.

If you are facing additional criminal charges for violating the conditions of your alcohol monitoring system, contact a DUI attorney in your area today to determine whether or not you have legal grounds to question your SCRAM results.


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