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In California, some people convicted of criminal offenses may be sentenced to electronic monitoring, which provides them with the opportunity to serve a sentence without occupying a jail cell. Typically, judges reserve ankle monitors for nonviolent offenders, offenders they believe are unlikely to reoffend, and those whose convictions lead to incarceration in jail rather than prison. People convicted of DUI may also be sentenced to wear a SCRAM device, which monitors their alcohol intake. If you’ve been arrested for DUI in California, the judge may sentence you to wear this device upon a conviction.
What is SCRAM?
“SCRAM” stands for Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring. It is one of a few types of monitoring you may be sentenced to instead of incarceration or as a condition of probation. SCRAM is an ankle bracelet that can detect the presence of alcohol through your skin, and it alerts authorities when it detects any trace of alcohol. The monitor sends a signal to the monitoring agency, which then goes to the court. Once the court notifies the local police department, a deputy may arrive at your residence to confirm the alert. They may ask you to take a preliminary breath test to measure your BAC.
When Will the Court Order Me to Wear a SCRAM Device?
Typically, SCRAM is reserved for repeat DUI offenders but is not used in all repeat DUI cases. A judge may order an offender to wear SCRAM when:
- They are on their third or fourth DUI conviction
- They have a history of alcoholism
- Previous attempts at alcohol treatment have failed
A judge may also order a SCRAM device as a condition of bond during pretrial supervision.
As you can see, judges tend to reserve a SCRAM sentence for the most serious DUI offenders who present a threat to themselves and others on the road. These devices are usually ordered in addition to other terms, like attending an Alcoholics Anonymous program or rehabilitation.
SCRAM is a viable alternative to sending nonviolent offenders to jail. Keep in mind that if the judge orders you to wear SCRAM, you must abstain from drinking.
Where Am I Allowed to Travel With a SCRAM Device?
People on SCRAM may usually travel freely as long as they don’t consume alcohol while they must wear the monitor. If alcohol is detected, authorities will be alerted. You may end up in jail if you violate the conditions of your sentence or the terms of your probation by consuming alcohol.
SCRAM vs. IID
A SCRAM device is more intrusive than an ignition interlock device (IID), and the two have different objectives. While the more common IID prevents offenders from drinking and driving, SCRAM prevents offenders from drinking, full stop.
The SCRAM bracelet is attached to your person at all times, while an IID is installed in your vehicle. With an IID, you must blow into the device before starting your car and at various points throughout your journey. A SCRAM monitor detects alcohol through your sweat hourly and immediately alerts authorities when you’ve consumed any alcohol. Judges reserve these devices for people with a severe alcohol dependency who have multiple DUI convictions. Judges may also order them for offenders who are overcoming addiction.
Like an IID, you must pay for SCRAM. There is a one-time installation fee and a daily monitoring cost. Fees vary, but you could be out a minimum of $100 per year.
Challenge DUI Charges in San Diego with Quality Counsel
Attorney Dod of Dod Law has more than 17 years of experience defending DUI charges in San Diego and nearby areas. He has handled more than 6,500 cases, including 75 jury trials. You can trust Dod to provide quality representation for your DUI case and do everything possible to have your charge dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge. He is a member of the San Diego Criminal Defense Bar Association and the National College for DUI Defense. Call 619-814-5110 for a free consultation with a San Diego DUI lawyer or complete our contact form.