Judge's gavel

The Use of SCRAM Bracelets After DUI Convictions

When a court in Oklahoma finds a person guilty of drunk driving, part of the sentence that is imposed might include a court order not to consume alcohol. This is enforced through monitoring, which in the past was done through in-person tests conducted by authorities or their agents. New technology known as a SCRAM bracelet now allows for remote monitoring of a person's alcohol consumption.

SCRAM stands for Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring. The device attaches around a person's ankle and can detect alcohol in sweat. The bracelet sends data electronically to a central monitoring center. The presence of bodily alcohol or tampering will alert authorities to a court order violation.

Judges typically impose a SCRAM bracelet requirement upon repeat DUI offenders who have exhibited a severe drinking problem. Sometimes the device is a condition of parole, probation or an early release arrangement. Costs for equipment and monitoring reach into the hundreds of dollars every month. The person wearing the bracelet pays the fees unless an inability to pay can be shown. If a SCRAM bracelet reports alcohol use, then the court will consider it a violation of the person's parole or probation.

A person facing a DWI charge might have a SCRAM bracelet required if convicted. An attorney representing the person might even advise the client to accept the monitoring device in order to gain an early release from jail. Potentially, the device could aid an attorney trying to getting a client's driver's license reinstated. Someone already wearing a court-ordered SCRAM bracelet might also need to consult an attorney if the device reports a violation. In some instances, it could report a false reading of alcohol, and an attorney might be able to challenge the evidence in court.