OREGON CITY, OR—Courts in Clackamas County are now using a high-tech, alcohol-sniffing ankle bracelet to help monitor drunk drivers and other alcohol-fueled offenders as part of an effort to fight the epidemic of alcohol-involved crimes in the county.
The bracelets are known as SCRAM® (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor), and they sample an offender’s perspiration every 30 minutes, around the clock, in order to detect alcohol consumption. Known as “Continuous Alcohol Monitoring,” the technology is used in 46 states specifically for long-term, 24/7 monitoring of alcohol-involved offenders, including drunk drivers, domestic violence offenders and others. In Clackamas County, 50 offenders in both the DUII and the Juvenile Drug treatment court programs have been monitored with the system already, and county officials anticipate expanding usage to other alcohol-involved offenders, as well.
The Clackamas County DUII Court was created in 2006 and was modeled after other successful DUII and Drug Courts operating throughout the country, including Multnomah County’s DUII Intensive Supervision Program. About 250 offenders have been monitored in Multnomah and Clackamas counties to-date.
According to Clackamas County Community Corrections, more than 700 alcohol-involved offenders are in their system each year, and at least one-third are repeat offenders. Statewide, the Century Council, which tracks and reports DUII statistics, reports there are 25,000 DUII arrests each year. Of those convicted, 37 percent were driving with a blood alcohol concentration of more than .15, or twice the legal limit, and nearly one-third are convicted as repeat offenders, classifying them as high-risk, hardcore drunk drivers.
Jake Dawes of Vigilnet Northwest, which manages the SCRAM Program in Multnomah and Clackamas Counties, says that the goal of integrating Continuous Alcohol Monitoring into these programs is to focus on the core issue, which is alcohol abuse and addiction. “Tackling the epidemic of repeat offenses is key, and the only way to do that is to separate the alcohol from the individual, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” says Dawes. According to Dawes, the bracelets first became available to the Clackamas County courts in March of this year.
Nationwide, jurisdictions have monitored more than 66,000 offenders in 46 states using SCRAM since it launched to the corrections market in April of 2003.
About Vigilnet America
Founded in 2005, Vigilnet America is an Authorized Service Provider of SCRAM programs in Nebraska, California and Oregon. Vigilnet Northwest is a satellite office for Vigilnet, focusing on providing SCRAM services specifically in the Pacific Northwest, with headquarters in Portland, Oregon. Vigilnet America is a privately-held company that employs 10 people, with headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska.
About Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc.
Established in 1997, Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. manufactures SCRAM®, the world’s only Continuous Alcohol Monitoring system, which uses non-invasive transdermal analysis to monitor alcohol consumption.SCRAM fully automates the alcohol testing and reporting process, providing courts and community corrections agencies with the ability to continuously monitor alcohol offenders, increase offender accountability and assess compliance with sentencing requirements and treatment guidelines. Alcohol Monitoring Systems employs 97 people across the U.S. and is a privately-held company headquartered in Littleton, Colorado.