What is a SCRAM Bracelet and How Does It Work?

Following a DWI or another alcohol-related arrest, the court may order a “Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring” bracelet, also known as the SCRAM bracelet. This bracelet is fairly well-known from its media portrayals, and it essentially provides the North Carolina courts with a way for courts to monitor people, 24/7, who have been ordered to not drink alcohol.

If you’ve been arrested for a DWI, domestic violence that involved alcohol, or another alcohol-related offense, then call Raleigh NC criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Instead of extensive jail time and huge fines, the courts may order a SCRAM bracelet for a certain period of time. This may be advantageous as an alternative punishment, and it’s always good to have an experienced attorney to provide a rigorous legal defense based on your interests. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call our Raleigh criminal law firm today at (919) 832-0307.

What is Court-Ordered Alcohol Monitoring?

When an individual is arrested for an alcohol-related crime, the court may order the defendant to stop drinking as an alternative to more severe punishments. This is because, in many cases, the defendant has a history (or is beginning a history) of criminal action that’s caused by alcohol consumption. If the defendant keeps drinking during this period, the court concludes that jail or more extreme punishments may be the only solution for vindication.

In addition to DWI cases, the court may order alcohol monitoring in domestic violence cases, defendants under the age of 21 who were caught drinking, and for drug addicts who drink as part of their addiction. Generally, the court will order the defendant to wear a bracelet for a set period of time, such as between 60 and 90 days. Sometimes, alcohol monitoring can last as long as a year, as a term of probation or parole.

Alcohol monitoring devices, such as the SCRAM bracelet, are designed with anti-tampering features. If the defendant tries to remove the bracelet, or tampers with it in any way, or the device reports alcohol consumption, the monitoring device will notify the courts.

How Does the SCRAM Bracelet Work?

A SCRAM bracelet works by taking measurements of the offender’s perspiration every 30 minutes. By reading the offender’s perspiration, the bracelet can tell if the wearer has been drinking, similar to the way a breathalyzer measures alcohol content. The results of the tests are then uploaded via modem to a private company, and if the wearer tests positive for alcohol, the company will send the results to the court.

Generally, SCRAM bracelets are scientifically sound, whereas evidence of alcohol consumption and/or tampering are admissible in courts. Furthermore, in order to challenge a SCRAM report, the defendant will need to prove that the bracelet was malfunctioning.

How Much Does a SCRAM Bracelet Cost?

For many offenders, one negative aspect of the SCRAM bracelet is its cost. Remember, a private company monitors the SCRAM bracelet, and those costs are passed onto the offender. Nonetheless, as an alternative to more severe penalties, the benefits of SCRAM can outweigh the costs.

In general, when ordered to wear a SCRAM bracelet, the offender is required to pay a one-time installation fee (from $50 to $100) as well as the daily monitoring fee (from $10 to $15). In total, the monthly cost of a SCRAM bracelet can be up to $450.

Contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley Today

At the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley in Raleigh, NC, we are the area’s leading criminal defense attorneys for DWI offenses. No matter the circumstances of the case, we will always put your interests at the forefront of our criminal defense strategy, and we’ll fight for not-guilty, dropped charges, or if the evidence is truly stacked against you, a reduced or alternative sentence, such as through SCRAM monitoring. To speak with attorney Dewey Brinkley today, call our Raleigh criminal law firm at (919) 832-0307.

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