DENVER—Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. (AMS), makers of an alcohol-sensing ankle bracelet that monitors DUI, domestic violence, and other alcohol-involved offenders, has released their end-of-year numbers for 2004. The company, which markets the Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor, or SCRAM, saw revenue jump 390% in 2004, reflecting what the company calls a paradigm shift in the correction industry’s use of technology to manage offenders and minimize the costs involved with repeat, high-risk offenders.
The product, marketed to probation departments, courts and corrections agencies as a tool that improves the ability to keep track of problem drinkers, includes an ankle bracelet/modem combination, much like a home arrest system. But instead of monitoring an offender’s location, the bracelet samples an offender’s sweat, at least once every hour, in order to measure someone’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). SCRAM programs expanded from programs in just 35 jurisdictions at the end of 2003 to 230 courts and agencies in 26 different states by December 2004. AMS CEO Mike Iiams says the company anticipates revenue growth will continue at the same or greater rate in 2005. “The market potential for this technology is substantial,” says Iiams, who says the DUI market alone could turn AMS into a $100 million company. Iiams cites both a significant market need for better long-term alcohol monitoring tools and the company’s aggressive marketing strategies as keys to the rapid expansion of their product throughout the country. “The recidivism rates for DUI, domestic violence, and other alcohol-involved offenders is astounding, and it costs taxpayers billions of dollars a year,” says Iiams. More than 90% of offenders on SCRAM pay for all or a significant portion of the cost of SCRAM, mitigating what Iiams calls the staggering financial burden repeat offenders place on taxpayers. More than 1 million people are convicted of drunk driving offenses each year in the U.S., and according to the US Department of Justice, 40 percent of those are repeat offenders. In addition, 40 percent of all domestic violence assaults involve an offender who was drunk at the time of the attack.
AMS, with both manufacturing and headquarter facilities based in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, is penetrating an industry that is historically reluctant to adopt new technologies. “After just a year on the market, you couldn’t go to a conference or a meeting without hearing about SCRAM,” says Peggy Conway, a Florida-based electronic monitoring consultant and editor of the Journal of Offender Monitoring. To compare, ignition interlock devices, which have been on the market for nearly ten years, have only 70,000 units in use throughout the U.S., even though more than 700,000 are on probation each year for DUI offenses. “The big difference in this technology is that from the beginning, SCRAM meets or exceeds expectations. It actually does what it says it will do.”
Officially launched to the corrections market in June of 2003, the company’s market strategy has included working with state corrections departments, county-level agencies, individual courts, and specialty courts such Drug, DUI, and Domestic Violence Courts. The company also markets to private service providers that counties use to outsource drug and alcohol testing, electronic monitoring, and treatment services to offenders. As of December 2004, AMS reported that they were processing just under 1 million alcohol tests each month, or 11.8 million alcohol tests a year. In total, SCRAM has supervised more than 5,000 offenders.
About Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc.
Established in 1997, Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. manufactures the world’s only non-invasive alcohol-detection system that automatically tests a subject for alcohol every hour, 24 hours a day, regardless of location. SCRAM¾the Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor¾is currently in use in more than 230 courts in 26 different states and is being used to classifyDUI , domestic violence, and other alcohol-involved offenders and assess their compliance with sentencing requirements and treatment guidelines. Alcohol Monitoring Systems employs 39 people and is a privately-held company headquartered in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.