A SCRAM bracelet is an alcohol monitoring device worn by individuals in California as part of their DUI sentence. They are often used in cases where the court believes the defendant has an alcohol addiction. SCRAM bracelets function quite differently than ignition interlock devices, which require a driver to blow into a mouthpiece on the device before starting or continuing to operate the vehicle. Although both work similarly to breathalyzers, SCRAM devices are considered more serious deterrents than ignition interlock devices.
SCRAM bracelets monitor the wearer’s perspiration every 30 minutes, sending the results to a private monitoring company. If a test result indicates the presence of alcohol, the company reports this positive result to the court.
The use of SCRAM bracelets is uncommon for drivers who are first-time DUI offenders. Instead, SCRAMS are typically used for drivers who are found to suffer from addiction. They are usually placed into use for individuals who have been ordered to abstain from alcohol as part of a treatment program. In DUI cases, a SCRAM bracelet may provide accountability since it is impossible to consume any alcohol without detection. Many alcoholics are unwilling to place themselves in a position where they are unable to consume alcohol for an extended period.
While a SCRAM bracelet is punitive, expensive, uncomfortable, and an awkward conversation piece, it may be an alternative to jail time. Potential jail sentences for repeat DUI offenders vary from one year in county jail to 16 months, two (2) years, or three (3) years in a California state prison.
Many defendants who are ordered to wear SCRAM bracelets have unsuccessfully attempted other treatment methods for alcoholism in the past. Many are perceived as presenting a danger to the public if their alcoholism remains untreated.
When a DUI defendant informs the court presiding over the case that he or she is willing to wear a SCRAM bracelet, it indicates a willingness to stop drinking altogether. It indicates a willingness to assume responsibility. This commitment may persuade a prosecutor or judge to waive prison time on the condition that a SCRAM bracelet is worn for a certain period. A SCRAM bracelet may keep a DUI offender out of jail.
Many courts report that most defendants successfully complete alcohol monitoring through SCRAM bracelets without incident. In fact, studies have shown that the use of SCRAM was associated with a reduced probability of recidivism for DUI offenders who had at least one prior DUI and who used the device for at least 90 days.
Generally, courts believe SCRAM bracelets are scientifically reliable, and that evidence of alcohol consumption and tampering may be admitted into court. For a defendant to successfully challenge SCRAM results, defendants would need some evidence that the device malfunctioned.
If someone you love suffers from alcoholism and is a repeat DUI offender who is facing prison time, he or she may be eligible to wear a SCRAM bracelet as part of their sentence and avoid jail time. Call us today at (760) 775-3739 or find out more online here.