DENVER—Denver-based Alcohol Monitoring Systems will begin testing of their anticipated SCRAM™ remote alcohol testing technology on July 10th, marking the final stages of testing and implementation before their full product launch in August.
SCRAM – or Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor™ – is the first remote alcohol testing system designed to test subjects 24 hours a day without any active participation by the subject. Developed to function as one effective component of a comprehensive program of sanctions and rehabilitation for DUI/DWI and other alcohol offenders, the SCRAM System combines elements of current remote electronic monitoring programs with state-the-art tamper and detection technology to deliver what many see as the first real, affordable solution to the problem of alcohol offenders and recidivism.
“Only 10% of DUI/DWI offenders, regardless of the offense or history of recidivism, are actually sentenced to abstain from alcohol as a term of their probation,” say AMS founder and President Kirby Phillips. “That’s a direct result of the fact that – until now – there have been no effective, affordable solutions to the problem of remote, long-term alcohol monitoring.” Phillips, who developed and marketed the LifeLoc 3000 in the late 1980s, left in 1992 in search of a solution to the problem of effective remote monitoring. Working with forensic researchers and scientists from around the US, Phillips founded AMS in 1997 and developed a system that utilizes the science of transcutaneous testing via a waterproof, tamperproof ankle bracelet. TheSCRAM Bracelet, weighing only 8 ounces, tests ethanol that migrates through the skin – a byproduct of alcohol consumption – in order to determine a subject’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). “The beauty of the system is that subjects are unaware when testing takes place,” says AMS Commercial Vice President Glenn Tubb. “Subjects don’t have to travel to a testing center, and they can’t manipulate loopholes in testing schedules, ignore a request for testing, or even mask a drinking event, which is the fundamental problem with other long-term monitoring programs.”
The three-part system, which includes the bracelet, the SCRAM Modem, andSCRAMNET, requires the subject to place the SCRAM Modem in their home. Once each day, at a time pre-determined by the monitoring agency, the subject is required to be within range of the SCRAM Modem. Via radio frequency, the SCRAM Bracelet transmits all readings since the previous transmission to the modem, and via a secure, private phone line, the data is sent to SCRAMNET– the heart of the system. “Another flaw with current remote technology is the requirement for monitoring staff to remotely confirm each test or the need for costly equipment and IT support. SCRAMNET is web-based and testing requires no supervision. An agency can customize, per offender, how they want to receive notification of alerts or tampers, and the easy-to-use application means subject test results can be accessed at any time,” says Tubb. “The cost-savings are enormous.”
Depending on the preferences of the monitoring agency, the program can be set-up as offender-pay. The daily monitoring cost is the same whether a subject is tested once per day or as often as 48 times per day – depending on the requirements of the agency. “With other programs, your costs increase exponentially with the number of daily tests. But once-a-day testing leaves the window wide open for violations. It just doesn’t work in the real world,” says Phillips. “SCRAM tests continuously for the same daily monitoring fee.”
Testing begins July 10th, with full system implementation taking place in a federal, a state, and a county jurisdiction, as well as in a large independent service provider in the Midwest. “We’ve been extensively testing this technology for quite some time, from single, controlled drinking events to long-term monitoring,” says Phillips. “We’re extremely excited about the results. We’re seeing accurate, reliable, tamper-proof testing across the board.” This final phase will test full-system implementation into existing programs. “We’re been working closely with our test program participants for several months, and we anticipate a smooth transition into this final phase of product development,” says Phillips.
Alcohol Monitoring Systems will formally launch SCRAM in late August at the American Parole and Probation Association annual convention in Denver.
AMS Website, E-Newsletter to Provide Test Program Updates
In addition to the launch of their final-phase testing, AMS has launched their website – http://www.alcoholmonitoring.com. The site, designed to provide product and company information as well as access to information and data on alcohol and crime, legislative updates, and statistics, will also offer visitors a vehicle for periodic updates on SCRAM System testing and implementation. Visitors can subscribe to the AMS periodic E-newsletter, which will offer detailed system implementation news, industry information on drunk driving trends, statistics, and legislative agendas, and access to key agency contacts in jurisdictions that implement the SCRAM System into their parole and probations program.
“We don’t want to just be a resource for SCRAM information, we want to be a resource for information on alcohol abuse, its impact on the corrections industry, and offender monitoring,” says Tubb. “We’ve done a great deal of research into the problem, and both our product and our management team represent decades of experience in this field. We’re a part of this program and we’ve developed this product to meet a very real, very serious need. We want to put our research and our information to work – and make it accessible for anyone interested in and committed to the challenge.”
Founded in 1997, Alcohol Monitoring Systems is a Denver-based company dedicated to the development of effective, affordable, real solutions to the problem of alcohol abuse, drunk driving, recidivism, and violent crime. The company offers SCRAM – the world’s only Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor – as one component of a comprehensive program of sanctions and treatment aimed at reducing the social and financial costs of alcohol abuse.