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SCRAM Ankle Bracelet Measures Blood Alcohol 24/7

Device Also Detect Tampering Efforts

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Updated March 29, 2012

More and more law enforcement agencies are beginning to use a new high-tech tool that helps them track the alcohol consumption of previous offenders, 24 hours a day, seven days a week -- particularly repeat drunk drivers.

The device, which works much like the ankle bracelets worn by offenders under house arrest, is called SCRAM -- Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor. It reads the blood alcohol content of the person wearing it every hour and reports those readings to law enforcement agencies.

"This is the first offender or patient bracelet that tests (offenders) consistently," said Don White of Alcohol Monitoring Systems, which manufactures the device. "We're able to test the molecules of ethanol that are coming off the ankle, because five percent of everything you drink comes out your body."

Closing the Testing Loopholes

The Alcohol Monitoring Systems web site claims, "SCRAM provides accurate 24/7 monitoring of an offender's alcohol consumption. It catches tamper attempts that mask drinking events. It closes testing loopholes. If offenders drink or tamper, you'll know it. If they don't, you'll know that, too. So you can focus on the offenders that truly need intervention."

More than 200 agencies in 20 states are now using the device. Many others are planning to use the device when funding is available, White said. The device has already conducted more than four million alcohol tests on 3,000 offenders.

In a recent North Carolina case, a man left jail wearing one of the SCRAM monitors. "Within five hours, he was arrested again for another public alcohol event in which he threatened the officers, threatened the lives of families, and was re-incarcerated," Judge Joseph Buckner of Orange County said.

Web site: Alcohol Monitoring Systems

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