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Colorado Introducing New Technology to Combat Drunk Driving

Media Type: Press Release

DENVER—Four Colorado counties and one local company are joining forces to introduce a new alcohol testing system to monitor high-risk DWI offenders in the state of Colorado. Rocky Mountain Offender Management Systems (RMOMS) has signed with Highlands Ranch-based Alcohol Monitoring Systems (AMS) to deliver what many are calling the best tool in the fight against DWI and other alcohol offenders to hit the market in more than a decade.

Designed specifically for application in long-term alcohol monitoring programs where abstinence is required, SCRAM™ (or the Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor™) includes a bracelet/modem combination like a home-arrest system. But the breakthrough comes in the introduction of Transdermal Testing. The bracelet, worn around-the-clock, samples an offender’s insensible perspiration in order to determine Blood Alcohol Concentration. According to Mike Iiams, chairman and CEO of AMS, this testing method gives courts an unprecedented level of assessment and accountability when dealing with DWI offenders. “Recidivism rates are astounding across the country, and nothing to-date has made a dent in that problem,” says Iiams. Unlike most drugs, alcohol metabolizes very quickly, so conventional alcohol testing programs are generally considered far less effective than drug testing when it comes to catching violators. “We needed to find a way to minimize the resources required for testing and supervision while maximizing accuracy and accountability. Testing someone 24 times per day, every day, no matter where they’re at or what they’re doing, provides exactly that accountability.”

Since its launch in March of 2003, SCRAM has seen rapid adoption in many of the largest jurisdictions in the country, including Orange County in California, Wayne County in Michigan, Marion County in Indiana, Hennepin County in Minnesota, Maricopa County in Arizona, and Dallas County in Texas.

According to RMOMS General Manager Daniel Beeck, the decision to be the first company in Colorado to offer SCRAM was an easy one to make. “The issue is that there is a critical need for this type of a testing system. And we have a professional responsibility to the community to provide any kind of technology that can potentially have such an impact on both the offenders and the community.”

RMOMS provides offender management services to adults throughout the Denver Metro area, including probation/deferred sentence supervision, drug and alcohol monitoring, electronic GPS surveillance, and traditional electronic home monitoring. For Beeck, the addition of SCRAM to the menu of services they offer was a natural progression. “Dealing with alcohol offenders usually includes a comprehensive program of sanctions, education, and treatment. The more information available to assess offenders and detect whether they’re in compliance with their court-ordered program, the better the chance that they’ll successfully complete that program and be safely re-integrated into the community,” says Beeck.

As with most monitoring programs, the offenders are responsible for the cost of the SCRAM System through a daily monitoring fee. Iiams anticipates rapid expansion throughout the state in the next several months. “We’re working closely with a number of contacts to figure out the best way to integrate SCRAM statewide,” says Iiams. AMS anticipates that more than 4,000 offenders throughout the U.S. will be monitored by SCRAM by the end of 2004.

Rocky Mountain Offender Management Systems is a for-profit agency founded in 2002. They provide offender management services to the 1st, 2nd, 17th, and 20th Judicial Districts of Colorado. RMOMS has offices in Golden, Westminster, Brighton, Boulder, Louisville/Lafayette, and Longmont.

About Alcohol Monitoring Systems
Established in 1997, Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. manufactures the world’s only non-invasive alcohol-detection system that automatically tests for alcohol every hour, 24 hours a day, regardless of the offender’s location. SCRAM™ the Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor™ is the first alcohol testing technology to use transdermal analysis to determine an offender’s Blood Alcohol Content. SCRAM fully automates the alcohol testing and reporting process, providing community corrections agencies and treatment organizations nationwide with the ability to classify DUI offenders and assess compliance with sentencing requirements, and treatment guidelines. Alcohol Monitoring Systems is a privately held company headquartered in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.