Not all offenders who drive under the influence (DUI) respond positively to criminal sanctions or medical treatment. Some hardcore or high-risk drunk drivers resist behavioral change. They tend to relapse into their alcoholic patterns, unfazed by their encounters with authorities.
So, it is unsurprising that Florida’s alcohol-impaired driving fatalities continue to rise. Just behind California and Texas, Florida remains one of the states with the worst DUI death rates. From almost 900 deaths in 2020, numbers exceeded 1,000 in 2021.
To address such a growing crisis, the state’s Safety Council formed the SCRAM Program. At the project’s core is the secure continuous remote alcohol monitor, known as the SCRAM device. It is a wrist or ankle bracelet that helps courts detect and monitor alcohol offenders to reduce repeat offenses and improve road safety.
When do courts use SCRAM?
The SCRAM technology has a transdermal monitor, which uses a person’s sweat to check if they consumed alcohol. It stores and analyzes the collected data through a web-connected application.
The device monitors continuously every 30 minutes. This way, it provides a solution for offenders who find an unlawful workaround to quickly burn alcohol in between scheduled tests.
Most importantly, SCRAM equips courts with a cost-effective and logistically convenient approach to keeping an eye on offenders after their return to society. The judge can:
- Order a pretrial release, which means the offender will only be free to go if they agree to wear a SCRAM bracelet while their case awaits a final decision
- Require the SCRAM bracelet as part of the offender’s probationary conditions
Depending on the circumstances, the SCRAM system often applies to those with prior DUI records, who are more likely to re-offend and cause tragic crashes.
The SCRAM device also has protective mechanisms against tampering. If an offender tries to remove it, it notifies the courts of a possible violation. Further, if the offender attempts to block its sensors, the device can differentiate between ingested and environmental alcohol.
Can SCRAM bridge the accountability gap?
The SCRAM device helps courts to seek accountability from drunk drivers. But long-term compliance still depends on a person’s will to change their troublesome behavior. An offender’s legal counsel can work with them in making well-informed decisions and building a strong defense plan.