What is SCRAM?
SCRAM is a brand name for an alcohol sensor ankle bracelet system—a transdermal alcohol testing system for continuous alcohol monitoring (CAM). The alcohol sensing ankle bracelet works similar to a nicotine patch or contraceptive patch, but instead of sending nicotine or hormones to the body through a patch, it sends the alcohol from the body to the ankle bracelet. The device then transmits the information from the ankle bracelet to the monitoring office. Sensor units notify of tampering and alteration as well.
The system is used in courts around the world, and the company has headquarters in Littleton, Colorado. The NHSTA report on SCRAM states that 293,607 SCRAM systems were in place as of 2013. SCRAM reports that 6,000 of these were in Colorado, with an extensive program in Denver.
Denver started electronic transdermal alcohol testing back in 2003. Prior to the invention of alcohol-monitoring, was electronic monitoring for house arrest. A diabetic DUI offender was one of the first successful test subjects of an electronic home monitoring system back in 1983.
SCRAM pricing varies based on your individual sentence, local program parameters, your financial obligations, and other services associated with your monitoring. There is typically a one-time installation fee and a recurring monitoring fee, usually charged weekly or every two weeks. Your program may require you to prepay for your monitoring a week or two in advance. Talk with your supervising agency or local SCRAM Systems Authorized Service Provider for details on costs.
When the SCRAM CAM Bracelet takes a reading every 30 minutes, a light buzzing sound can be heard, but is generally reported to be quiet.
The SCRAM Base Station can connect using a traditional landline, digital phone line, a cellular network, or your home Internet using Ethernet or Wi-Fi.
SCRAM Alcohol-Sensing Ankle-Bracelets FOR Repeat DUI Offenders
SCRAM is a hi-tech ball-and-chain unit for DUI offenders. The high majority of habitual DUI offenders ordered to wear an alcohol sensing ankle bracelet stayed sober while on the continuous alcohol-monitoring system, according to a 2015 SCRAM study released by the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration. The report, “Comparative Study and Evaluation of SCRAM. Use, Recidivism Rates, and Characteristics,” was in part conducted because of the resounding evidence showing that prison is ineffective at curtailing repeat DUI offenders.
Probation and motor vehicle record examinations discerned that recidivism (relapse) by DUI offenders while wearing a SCRAM alcohol-sensor ankle bracelet was less than 2%. The study also found that the length of time before a repeat DUI offender relapses is longer when wearing a SCRAM. In comparison, government reports show that felons who participate in no program after prison have an almost 50% recidivism rate in Colorado, and felons who
SCRAM Supervises Repeat DUI Offenders and Sobers Up Prison Budgets
Used alone, neither prison nor the SCRAM system can reduce recidivism, but they both keep the drinking-driver sober and supervised. This study is significant for Colorado prison budget watchdogs, particularly in tandem with the passing of Colorado’s new Felony DUI bill which has been expected to increase prison sentencing for habitual DUI offenders. SCRAM probationary periods may be an option to keep the highways safe while managing an increase in prisoners and higher than expected budget costs.
A May 2015 Vera Institute report (The Price of Jails) found that Colorado jail costs are much higher than reported. Boulder, Colorado’s jail costs were actually 20% more than reported, and Pitkin County was 9.8% higher. Colorado can offset these expenses by using SCRAM for habitual DUI offenders. One Colorado inmate costs over $30,000 per year at taxpayer expense. Scram is less than a third of that, and often not at taxpayer expense.
Is SCRAM a Cheaper Mobile Prison System?
The alcohol monitoring bracelet works for four reasons:
1. It is an imminent, visible and tangible threat. For the same reason a habitual alcohol-drinking driver won’t get in the car and drive if a cop is visible, but will take a gamble to drive if cops aren’t visible, the SCRAM works. The ankle alcohol detector is the cop living with the DUI offender day and night, even in the shower.
2. SCRAM keeps the community safe. Authorities are alerted to any alcohol in the system or tampering with the unit.
3. It can be offender-specific, used for repeat offenders who have jobs, families, alcohol or other health programs. SCRAM can be used in combination with house arrest and license revocation.
4. It saves taxpayers money. Prison and probation costs are reduced. Able offenders are responsible for paying for the unit.
“CAM has been shown to be an effective tool when monitoring alcohol sobriety for DWI offenders. CAM identifies all confirmed alcohol events and eliminates the need for probation or other court officers to conduct frequent and random in-home offender monitoring. This aspect of offender monitoring saves time and resources (manpower and fiscal) for other types of monitoring and probation efforts. It also appears that offenders who maintain sobriety while undergoing treatment have better treatment outcomes.”
(Note: CAM is Continuous Alcohol Monitoring) Source: NHSTA Report DOT HS 812 143, April 2015, Preusser Research Group, Inc., Comparative Study and Evaluation of SCRAM. Use, Recidivism Rates, and Characteristics.
Can SCRAM Rehabilitate Chronic DUI Offenders?
When alcohol is the problem, monitoring alcohol use is part of the solution. When combined with modern alcohol-related therapy, probation, and community service and support, rehabilitation of the habitual DUI offender is possible.
Other SCRAM Products
- SCRAM Remote Breath
- The world’s first handheld, wireless, portable breath alcohol device with automated facial recognition and GPS with every single test. For your lower-risk offenders or those who have earned less intensive testing and monitoring.
- SCRAM GPS Monitoring
- SCRAM House Arrest Monitoring
Did You Get Your Second DUI?
If you’re facing your second DUI, you face jail time and may be subject to electronic monitoring. You need an attorney to review your current DUI case and prior offenses. Electronic monitoring may be a part of the DUI court process, during pretrial and/or probation. The attorneys at Tiftickjian Law Firm are here to help you find the facts needed to get your case dismissed, and examine sentencing options under current Colorado law. Dial 303-DUI-5280 and get started on resolving your case today.