Judges in Pennsylvania are increasingly adding the penalty of a SCRAM bracelet as a condition of early release, parole, and probation for some DUI offenders in Pennsylvania. The SCRAM bracelets are seen as an effective means of monitoring some DUI offenders and a less expensive way of punishing some offenders than housing them in Pennsylvania jails. Whether or not you will be required to wear a monitoring device depends on several factors.
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What is a SCRAM Bracelet?
Before you agree to a monitoring device as part of a plea bargain, you should know that you agree to continuous monitoring by the state. With a SCRAM bracelet, the state can monitor your alcohol consumption in real time, in addition to tracking your whereabouts. The bracelets are intended to ensure that you do not consume alcohol as part of your DUI sentence and that you comply with any curfew requirements as part of your release.
The SCRAM (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring) device is worn on your ankle. It monitors the alcohol in your system by detecting the presence of alcohol in your sweat. It also tracks your location to ensure you are home before a mandatory curfew.
You must install a base station in your home that connects to a telephone landline. The SCRAM bracelet “tests” your perspiration every thirty minutes for the presence of alcohol. The information is sent to the base station and then uploaded to the SCRAM company. The company then transfers the information to the appropriate law enforcement agency. If your BAC is .02 or higher, the law enforcement agency receives a “positive” alert so that parole officers can take appropriate action for a violation.
Benefits of Using a SCRAM Bracelet
There are several benefits for the state and for DUI offenders of using a SCRAM bracelet. For both parties, the SCRAM bracelet reduces the need for in-person alcohol testing. For the state, the bracelet is less expensive than the cost of incarceration. For the offender, wearing an ankle monitor is less restrictive than being in jail or reporting for mandatory monitoring and alcohol testing. In addition, a SCRAM bracelet can be less costly for the offender than installing an ignition interlock system in a vehicle.
However, as with all forms of technology, there are issues with reliability. For some offenders, medical conditions, topical creams, or medications could produce a false positive. In addition, the cost of the SCRAM bracelet could be restrictive for some offenders.
As with any DUI punishment in Pennsylvania, you should discuss all your options for defending a DUI charge with an Erie DUI defense lawyer before accepting any plea bargain or pleading guilty to a DUI charge.
Contact an Erie DUI Defense Attorney for Help
Our DUI defense attorney represents clients in Erie, Edinboro, Warren, Meadville, Bradford, and the surrounding areas.