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The SCRAM Bracelet as a DUI Penalty in Seattle, Washington

A judge may order the use of a SCRAM bracelet to monitor a person's alcohol consumption while a case is pending or as a sentence condition of if a conviction was entered. “SCRAM” stands for “Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor.” In the State of Washington, the courts are permitted to order a person to refrain from consuming any alcohol as a condition of release while as case is pending or as a condition of a sentence after a guilty finding is entered.

How the SCRAM Bracelet Works

The SCRAM bracelet is actually an ankle monitoring system. It looks like a bulky, first or second generation Garmin watch. The SCRAM bracelet rests next to the skin and takes readings of a person's blood alcohol concentration by testing their perspiration via a transdermal sensor device. The manufacturers claim the SCRAM bracelet can detect even low amounts of alcohol a person may have consumed. These readings are taken every 30 minutes. People who wear the SCRAM bracelet report a slight vibration as the monitor takes a reading. Once the data is collected, it is transmitted each day to a monitoring site in Colorado. The data is analyzed further to determine if the person may have consumed alcohol. These results are then forwarded to the courts or probation.

Obviously, people wearing the SCRAM bracelet have been instructed not to drink. A positive test reading could result in consequences, such as a loss of pretrial release pending the resolution of the case or a probation violation, which could result in additional jail time.

False Positives

As with any piece of equipment, the SCRAM bracelet is not infallible. The SCRAM provider reports a false positive rate of 11 percent. A SCRAM bracelet registers positive test results every time it encounters alcohol through the dermal layer. This means any time the skin has alcohol on it, either in the perspiration or topically, SCRAM registers the presence of alcohol. Toiletries, perfumes, mouthwash, and cleaning supplies are just a few examples of products that can result in a false positive test.

If You are Accused of Drinking While Using a SCRAM Bracelet...

If you are accused of drinking while wearing a SCRAM bracelet, you may have a defense. If you believe your SCRAM bracelet falsely reported a positive result, or detected topical alcohol, you need an attorney familiar with the SCRAM transdermal sensor device technology to assist you. A positive reading can result in jail time, and, if the SCRAM bracelet was ordered as part of a pretrial release, the revocation of bail.

If You are Facing DUI Charges...

If you are facing DUI charges, a court-imposed SCRAM bracelet is just one of many potential consequences you may face if you are convicted. This is not the time to represent yourself in criminal court. There are both criminal and civil consequences of a DUI conviction. Make sure you fully understand your rights, possible defenses to DUI that you may have in your case, and what potential consequences you could be facing before you go to court. Contact Pewitt Law, PLLC today at 206-941-0009.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.