The State of California doesn’t act lightly when someone drinks and drives. In 2017 alone, over 900 arrests were made in the state for driving under the influence (DUI) – That was just all in one weekend.
Thousands of drivers are charged every month with a DUI charge in the state. Driving under the influence is California’s most frequently-committed crime. When this happens, you need a DUI lawyer on your side.
WHAT IS A “SCRAM” DEVICE?
Convicted DUI offenders who are ordered to refrain from using alcohol may be required to use a “SCRAM” device to ensure compliance with the court’s order. What is a SCRAM device? How does it work? Exactly who has to wear one?
Keep reading – you’ll learn some details about SCRAM bracelets and how those devices are keeping Californians safe on our state’s streets and highways.
You will also learn about your rights if you are accused and facing a DUI charge – and faced with the possibility of wearing a SCRAM bracelet.
WHAT DOES “SCRAM” STAND FOR?
SCRAM stands for “Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor.” It is an alcohol-monitoring device that is worn as an ankle bracelet, it’s difficult to tamper with, and an increasing number of California DUI offenders are being ordered to wear it.
The device detects alcohol vapor emitted by body sweat. A SCRAM device tests for alcohol every thirty minutes. It electronically transmits its findings to a SCRAM monitoring location.
A SCRAM device is often ordered by a California judge in a driving under the influence case as an alternative to jail time or as a condition of probation. This frees the offender to obtain treatment for alcohol abuse and live an otherwise normal life.
The SCRAM device may be required as part of a sentence for a conviction due to driving under the influence or for any other alcohol-related criminal conviction (such disorderly conduct, or in some cases, domestic violence).
IS A SCRAM DEVICE ORDERED FOR EVERY CALIFORNIA DUI CONVICTION?
However, a first-time DUI conviction usually will not trigger a judge’s order to wear a SCRAM device. As a matter of practicality, California judges usually order an offender to wear a SCRAM bracelet only if that offender has previous DUI convictions or alcohol dependency issues.
If a SCRAM device is tampered with or identifies alcohol vapor, the court is notified immediately, and jail may be the consequence for the offender.
The SCRAM device is produced by Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc.
The company warns that wearers shouldn’t use products containing any amount of alcohol, including mouthwashes, disinfectants, rubbing alcohol, or colognes. The company also advises that “No products other than soap and water should be used on the skin around the bracelet.”
EXACTLY HOW DOES A SCRAM BRACELET WORK?
Alcohol in someone’s blood is mostly eliminated through urination, but a trace amount is excreted through the sweat, breath, and saliva. That is why breathalyzers can be used to determine blood alcohol content levels, and it’s the principle behind SCRAM devices.
About one percent of the alcohol we drink leaves the body as perspiration in the form of ethanol vapor passing through the skin. We literally “sweat out” about one percent of any alcohol that we consume. The SCRAM system continually monitors body sweat for traces of ethanol vapor.
HOW LONG DOES A DUI OFFENDER HAVE TO WEAR A SCRAM DEVICE?
An order to wear a SCRAM device can remain in effect from as little as thirty days to as long as a year or more. What factors are considered when a judge orders a DUI offender to wear the device? What determines the length of the penalty? The factors that will be considered include:
1. the details and specific severity details of the driving under the influence conviction
2. the offender’s previous driving under the influence convictions
3. the severity of the offender’s alcohol issues
WHO PAYS FOR A SCRAM BRACELET?
Unless a convicted DUI offender can produce evidence of financial hardship, if a SCRAM device is ordered, the offender pays for both an installation fee and a daily monitoring fee.
SCRAM systems are offered by a variety of authorized service providers in southern California.
A judge’s order to wear a SCRAM device is not necessarily a sentence for house arrest, although it may be joined with house arrest. A DUI probationer wearing a SCRAM bracelet, in most cases, is still able to attend school, attend alcohol treatment, and/or maintain employment.
What to Do If You Are Being Faced With a DUI Charge
The exact terms and conditions of a DUI probation sentence will be determined in each case by the court.
If you are facing a charge with driving under the influence in the southern California area, or if you are charged with violating a DUI probation on the basis of SCRAM evidence, you are going to need the advice and representation of a knowledgeable experienced Orange County DUI attorney.
If you’re arrested for driving under the influence in California, contact a DUI attorney at once. Don’t presume that you’ll be convicted. Choose a skilled lawyer who concentrates on DUI cases and routinely represents DUI defendants. And choose someone you like and trust.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU PLEAD GUILTY TO DUI?
In almost every DUI case, a defendant should fight the charge aggressively. If you enter a guilty plea when facing a DUI in California, you’ll pay steep fines and court costs, your driver’s license will be suspended, and you could be ordered to wear a SCRAM device.
But there is a reason for optimism – even if you’ve been arrested due to a DUI.
Good DUI lawyers win a remarkable percentage of cases on behalf of their clients in California. If you are genuinely not guilty of driving under the influence, your lawyer will fight aggressively for a dismissal of charges or an acquittal.
HOW CAN A DUI LAWYER HELP?
Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming and a conviction is inevitable, a DUI attorney can negotiate a plea bargain and/or advocate on your behalf for reduced or alternative sentencing – which could mean wearing a SCRAM device as an alternative to serving time in jail.
In southern California, a qualified DUI attorney may be able to save you money, time, and a considerable amount of grief.
If you are facing a DUI charge in Orange County – or anywhere in the southern California area – now or in the future, make the call to a good DUI lawyer immediately. You have that right, and nothing is more important than your future and freedom.