Los Angeles DUI Alcohol Monitoring Devices
At a defendant’s arraignment for a driving under the influence case, the judge and prosecutor may have concerns that the defendant will continue to drink excessively while out of custody and may potentially be a danger to others on the road. This is especially true for drivers who had extremely high BAC results or for those with prior DUI convictions. For these drivers, the Court may require that the defendant wear an alcohol monitoring device while the case is pending to ensure that driver refrains from drinking alcohol.
In California, the SCRAM device is used to monitor a defendant’s alcohol consumption. SCRAM stands for “Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor.” The SCRAM device is a tamper-proof device that the defendant wears around his or her ankle. The device monitors the wearer’s skin for alcohol consumption. Anyone who consumes alcohol will secrete minute amounts of alcohol in their sweat and the SCRAM device can tell whether or not a person has been drinking by monitoring these sweat secretions. The device tests once an hour and wirelessly transmits the results of the testing to a remote monitoring center. If someone tests positive for alcohol or tries to tamper with or remove the SCRAM device, the monitoring company will alert the Court who may require that the defendant be taken into custody as a result of the O.R. violation.
Judges tend to only require SCRAM devices for defendants who appear to have a serious drinking problem. The SCRAM may be offered as an alternative to bail and would allow the defendant to remain out of custody while his or her case is pending.
There are several problems that defendants tend to have with the SCRAM device. These devices tend to be very uncomfortable and any attempt to adjust the device may be interpreted as a tamper and treated as a violation. These devices look like house arrest anklets and may interfere with a defendant’s ability to work; as it may be difficult to conceal a SCRAM device from employers or clients. The SCRAM device can also be expensive and defendants are required to bear at least some of the cost of this alcohol monitoring system. The Court may pay a portion of the SCRAM costs for indigent defendants.
In some circumstances, the SCRAM device can even be dangerous. Some defendants charged with DUI may be severe alcoholics and quitting alcohol “cold turkey” can trigger seizures or other conditions for those who are dependent on alcohol.
Any consumption of alcohol would trigger a positive reading on a person’s SCRAM device. Defendants should be careful when using any alcohol-based product, including mouthwash. In addition, the defendant would not be able to use any alcohol-based cleanser on his or her skin while wearing the SCRAM device, as this also could trigger a positive reading.
A DUI defendant may be required to wear a SCRAM bracelet between 30 days and a year. In some cases, the judge may be willing to remove the defendant from SCRAM after it has been ordered. In lieu of SCRAM, a judge or prosecutor may request that a defendant attend multiple AA sessions while the case is pending or even enroll early in an alcohol education or treatment program.
If you have been charged with DUI and want to know more about alcohol monitoring devices, it is imperative that you consult with a Los Angeles DUI Attorney as soon as possible. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Los Angeles DUI Attorney Michael Kraut works tirelessly on behalf of his clients in order to help them avoid onerous conditions of release or probation.
For more information about Los Angeles DUI alcohol monitoring devices, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Los Angeles DUI Lawyer Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1520, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.