What is a SCRAM Device?
One additional penalty that judges will sentence DUI offender to is mandatory use of a SCRAM ankle monitor. SCRAM stands for Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor. A SCRAM bracelet is a way to ensure that you do not consume alcohol for a given period of time. It is a device that is attached to your ankle that monitors your alcohol consumption. If alcohol is detected in your body, the device will register it and you will be charged with a violation.
The device works by reading the alcohol content in your perspiration. About 1% of the alcohol you consume is expelled through your sweat. The SCRAM device reads your perspiration every hour and is worn 24/7. Studies have shown that SCRAM devices can be very effective at treating people with alcohol addition, especially when combined with counseling and other types of treatment.
Who Is Eligible for SCRAM?
Offenders with multiple DUI convictions can be sentenced by a judge to use a SRAM bracelet. Offenders can also choose to use the device in order to avoid jail time or to show the court that they are serious about getting treatment for their substance abuse problem.
When you are arrested for DUI in California, police perform a review of the last 10 years of your criminal record, if you have previous convictions for any of the following charges, you will face increased penalties: ·
California Vehicle Code Section 23103.5 – Reckless driving with alcohol also known as a ‘wet reckless' offense
California Vehicle Code Section 23152 – Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
California Vehicle Code Section 23153 – Driving under the influence with injury
California Vehicle Code Section 23140 – Underage driving under the influence
Multiple prior convictions show the court that you have a record of making poor decisions when it comes to drinking and driving. Repeat offenders are more likely to cause fatal accidents so judges want to do everything they can to end the pattern. Preventing the offender from drinking is one way they can do this.
A typical SCRAM sentence can vary and will depend on what the judge thinks will be an effective amount of time to curb the offender's alcohol addiction. A sentence can be as little as one month or as long as a year but is usually around 90 days.
Benefits of SCRAM in California
The obvious disadvantage of a SCRAM device is that the court will constantly be monitoring you and alcohol consumption is strictly off limits. Any violation of this or evidence that you were tampering with the device can lead to immediate incarceration. You will also have to deal with the physical discomfort of wearing the device 24/7.
Another disadvantage is that the defendant generally has to be responsible for payment for the device. When considering the alternative of jail time though, this may be a minor concern to many people.
The advantages, however, are numerous. First of all, many offenders get reduced jail time if they agree to use the device. This means that they are free to attend work, school, social engagements and any other event that they want, as long as they remain sober.
Extended use of the device can also help offenders get their license reinstated by proving that they have refrained from drinking. This shows the courts that they are committed to safe driving and do not have an addition problem.
SCRAM devices have a lot of benefits to the government as well. SCRAM users do not have to occupy jail beds and, therefore, cuts down on costs. It also proves to be an effective way to stop offenders with substance abuse problems from drinking before they have a chance to cause serious injury to anyone.
California SCRAM DUI Case Study
In 2011, San Diego County began a program where SCRAM devices were a prerequisite for release for all high BAC first time DUI offenders and all repeat DUI offenders. Prosecutors will recommend the following SCRAM sentences to those convicted of DUI in any city in San Diego County:
- First offender with a BAC of .30 or greater - 90 days minimum
- Second time DUI offender - 90 days minimum
- Third time DUI offender - 120 days minimum
- Fourth time DUI offender or more- 120 days minimum
So far, this program has proved to be very effective and has reported a 99.7% sobriety rate among users. It has also shown to decrease recidivism 45% more among drivers arrested with extremely high (BAC over .30%) alcohol levels.
California DUI Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested for DUI and want to know more about SCRAM ankle monitors, call our defense firm right away. An attorney can give you a free consultation and address all of your questions and concerns. It is important to have experienced legal defense when facing any kind of criminal charge. Call us now to get stared.