SCRAM Ankle Bracelets in a California DUI
If convicted of DUI in California, the judge could order you to wear a SCRAM bracelet, which is part of the terms of probation or a jail alternative.
A SCRAM bracelet is an alcohol monitoring device for offenders to wear during a DUI sentence. It is often used when the court believes an offender has an alcohol addiction.
They test the sweat for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) every 30 minutes and wirelessly transmit the results to a regional monitoring center. SCRAM bracelets have become more common as judges try to stop repeat DUI offenders from driving while under the influence.
They are a rehabilitative alternative to imprisonment for offenders on probation and allow them to seek treatment for alcohol addiction. In addition, it can be set up to perform house arrest monitoring, known as “SCRAMx.”
Using a SCRAM device is normally ordered as a jail alternative or condition of probation for the following charges:
- Vehicle Code 23152(a) VC driving under the influence;
- Vehicle Code 23152(b) VC driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher;
- Vehicle Code 23153 VC DUI causing injury.
SCRAM Ankle Bracelet and SCRAMx – Explained
SCRAM stands for "Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor." The bracelet is a tamper and water-resistant alcohol-monitoring device worn around your ankle 24 hours a day.
It's connected to a home station using sensors to detect the presence of alcohol in your sweat. It takes a reading every 30 minutes and transmits the data to a monitoring company.
Suppose you drink some alcohol. In that case, it will be detected by the bracelet and reported to your probation officer and the court, which could result in a probation revocation and jail time.
SCRAMx is a SCRAM bracelet outfitted with a radio frequency (RF) transmitter, doubling as an alcohol detection system and a house arrest monitor. They are ordered when a defendant is prohibited from consuming alcohol and sentenced to house arrest as part of probation.
When Are SCRAM Bracelets Ordered?
As noted, SCRAM bracelets are commonly used in California DUI cases, such as driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher.
Suppose you are convicted of DUI. In that case, the judge can order you to wear a SCRAM bracelet as part of your sentence. They can be ordered as a condition of probation or as an alternative to jail. The most common situations where a SCRAM or SCRAMx can be used include the following:
- Repeat DUI offender, such as a third or fourth offense,
- DUI causing injury,
- Domestic violence cases where alcohol was involved,
- Condition of early parole,
- History of alcoholism,
- After failed attempts at alcohol treatment.
Judges have broad discretion in using SCRAM but typically order when they believe the offender has a severe problem with drinking alcohol.
A SCRAM sentence means you can't drink any alcohol and could be sent to jail if you violate the terms. They can be ordered in addition to other forms of alcohol treatment, such as Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
How Long Do You Have to Wear a Bracelet?
The length of time you will be required to wear the SCRAM bracelet will generally depend on the severity of the offense. For example, suppose you are a first-time DUI offender. In that case, you may have to wear the device for only a few months.
Suppose you are a repeat offender. In that case, you could be ordered to wear it for much longer, but the average range is 30 days to one year. If you attempt to tamper or remove the SCRAM device, it will alert the monitoring center.
Who Pays for SCRAM?
The offender has to cover the cost of the SCRAM bracelet, but if they cannot afford it, the court could subsidize or cover the cost.
Typically, a SCRAM bracelet costs $50-$100 to install and a daily monitoring fee of about $12 per day. SCRAMx bracelets are a little more expensive.
SCRAM systems are generally available from local service providers. DUI offenders must contact a SCRAM service provider in California after they are ordered to wear one.
SCRAM Bracelet as a Jail Alternative
Wearing a SCRAM bracelet is not comfortable or convenient, but there are many advantages.
They can keep you from serving jail time, which allows you to keep working. In addition, they do not require regular meetings with a probation officer.
Suppose you have an alcohol addiction. In that case, the device allows you to stay out of jail and seek treatment. They also act as a deterrent to abusing alcohol and any future DUI charges.
They also are an advantage to the court system as they allow them to avoid sending offenders to overcrowded jails. In addition, they give defense lawyers a negotiating tool for plea bargains.
If charged with a DUI, consult with our Los Angeles DUI lawyers to review whether wearing a SCRAM device is an option. Contact our law firm to review the details if you are accused of a SCRAM violation in California. You can contact us by phone or by using the contact form. Cron, Israels & Stark is located in Los Angeles, CA.