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Georgia Introducing New Weapon to Battle State’s DWI Epidemic

Media Type: Press Release

DENVER—Georgia Probation Management, Inc. (GPM) and Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. (AMS) are joining forces to introduce a new alcohol testing system to monitor high-risk DUI offenders in the state of Georgia. GPM currently provides misdemeanor probation services for court systems throughout Georgia, including Courts in Bibb, Cherokee, Cobb, Forsyth, and Fulton Counties.

Cumming-based GPM will deliver what many are calling the best tool in the fight against DUI and other alcohol-related offenses to hit the market in more than a decade. The new system is called SCRAM™ (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor™).

Designed specifically for long-term alcohol monitoring programs where offenders are required to abstain from alcohol, such as DUI and domestic abuse programs, SCRAM includes a bracelet/modem combination like a home-arrest system. But instead of monitoring an offender’s location, theSCRAM Bracelet, worn around-the-clock, samples an individual’s sweat 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 DUI offenders. “Recidivism rates are astounding across the country, and nothing to-date has made a dent in that problem,” says Iiams. GPM President and CEO Steve Page agrees, and he anticipates rapid expansion of the SCRAMprogram throughout the state in the next several months. “The courts we serve have been searching for years for a reliable solution to the problem of monitoring these types of offenders and making them accountable. We believe solution has arrived in this technology-filled ankle bracelet,” says Page.

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 monitoring offenders. “We needed to find a way to minimize the resources required for testing and supervision while maximizing accuracy and accountability,” says Iiams. “Testing someone 24 times per day, every day, no matter where they are or what they are doing provides exactly that accountability.”

The decision to offer SCRAM in jurisdictions in Georgia was an easy one to make, according to Page. “There is a critical need for this type of testing system, which is ideal for problematic DUI offenders, as well as in assault, domestic violence or other cases where alcohol is a factor in the crime,” says Page. 

SCRAM is currently used in other states as a pre-trial assessment tool, as well as a means to detect alcohol during probation. “This technology has the potential to have an enormous impact on the criminal justice system. It provides a great level of accountability for the offender, gives the courts peace of mind because we can truly track what these alcohol offenders are doing, and it minimizes the risk these offenders can be to the community,” says Page. DUI and other alcohol-related offenders on probation are generally sentenced to a comprehensive program that includes sanctions, education, treatment, and punishment. The shift in the last decade has been to improve treatment and monitoring during probation in order to change behavior—and ultimately keep criminals from re-offending. “The more information we have to assess these offenders, the better chance we have of intervening, and the better chance they have of learning to live their lives alcohol-free,” says Page.

SCRAM is currently in use in over 100 cities and counties nationwide, including courts in Dallas, Phoenix, Detroit, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, St. Louis, and Orange County, California. Since its launch in April of 2003, SCRAM has completed more than 3 million tests on over 3,000 offenders.

As with most monitoring programs, the offenders are responsible for the cost of the SCRAM System, including a daily monitoring fee. There is no cost to a court or specific county. AMS anticipates that more than 6,000 offenders throughout the United States will be monitored by SCRAM by the end of 2004.

Georgia Probation Management is a probation services company that provides supervision services, electronic monitoring and drug and alcohol testing services to courts throughout the State of Georgia They serve Courts in Bibb, Cherokee, Cobb, Forsyth, Fulton, Lowndes, Newton, Peach and Walton Counties as well several other Counties. GPM works closely with each court to structure the probation standards, develop sentencing options, and establish probation policies. GPM is headquartered in Cumming, Georgia.

Established in 1997, Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. manufactures the world’s only noninvasive alcohol-detection system that automatically tests for alcohol every hour, 24 hours a day, regardless of the individual’s location.SCRAM (the Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor) is the first alcohol testing technology to use transdermal analysis to determine an individual’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.