ST. LOUIS, MO—When the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) hosts its 14th Annual Drug Court Training Conference in St. Louis this week, drug court judges from across the U.S. will be wearing and testing the latest fashion in high-tech law enforcement: A booze-sniffing ankle bracelet that actually tests your sweat to see if you’ve been drinking.
The 24/7 system is called SCRAM (for Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor), and it’s already monitored more than 1,600 DUI, domestic violence and other alcohol-involved offenders in 49 Missouri counties, including more than 1,200 in St. Louis and surrounding areas. The technology includes an alcohol-specific ankle bracelet that actually samples perspiration—every 30 minutes—in order to determine whether subjects are compliant with court-ordered sobriety.
SCRAM, as well as a number of other high-tech tools designed to help courts manage and monitor offenders, will be on exhibit this week at the NADCP14th Annual Drug Court Training Conference, running May 27th through May 30th at the Cervantes Convention Center at America’s Center. The newest version of the SCRAM System, SCRAM II, will be worn and tested by some of the more than 2,500 judges and drug court professionals who will be attending the show. The SCRAM II bracelet is a smaller, more ergonomic version of the original SCRAM bracelet, which gained international attention in 2007 when a number of high-profile Hollywood celebrities were sentenced to wear SCRAM as part of Los Angeles county’s DUI program.
According to Don White, vice president of Field Operations for AMS, SCRAM has seen rapid adoption throughout Missouri and the rest of the U.S. since it first launched to the corrections market in April of 2003. Termed “Continuous Alcohol Monitoring” (CAM), the 24/7 testing protocol ensures that offenders can no longer drink around testing schedulesa common occurrence with random alcohol testing programs. “Unlike drugs, alcohol metabolizes so quickly in the body that if you don’t test someone at least once every two to three hours, you’re going to miss 98 percent of drinking violations,” says White. To-date, SCRAM has monitored more than 63,000 offenders in 1,700 jurisdictions nationwide.
Alcohol and Crime: Missouri Quick Facts
According to The Century Council, which compiles DUI/DWI data state-by-state, more than 35,000 offenders are arrested each year for drunk driving in the state of Missouri. Of those, more than 28 percent are repeat offenders. Beyond DUI, the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that in 75 percent of cases of domestic violence, the offender is drunk at the time of the offense. Each year, more than 2.4 million people are convicted of a crime committed while under the influence of alcohol.
As with most community-based monitoring programs, Missouri offenders are responsible for the cost of the SCRAM System through a daily monitoring fee, which means there is no cost to the court, the county or taxpayers.
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 100 people across the U.S. and is a privately-held company headquartered in Littleton, Colorado.