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King County Gets Tough on Drunk Drivers and Other Alcohol-Related Offenders

Media Type: Press Release

Bracelets to Monitor Offenders 24×7 for Court-Ordered Sobriety

BELLEVUE, WA—Thanks to a new local partnership, courts in Des Moines, Enumclaw and Bothell now have access to a high-tech ankle bracelet to help tackle the DUI problem in King County.

HomeBound Services, a Bellevue-based provider of community corrections monitoring services to the local courts, has partnered with Denver-based Alcohol Monitoring Systems (AMS) to provide SCRAM® (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor) in order to intensively monitor high-risk alcohol offenders. The SCRAM System includes a high-tech bracelet that offenders wear on their ankles 24 × 7 during a court­-ordered sentence in order to detect alcohol consumption. Using non-invasive transdermal analysis, SCRAMautomatically samples the individual’s sweat for alcohol every hour around the clock. Available in 41 states, including Washington, SCRAM is the first – and only – continuous alcohol monitoring solution on the market today.

According to AMS, the continuous testing protocol means offenders can no longer drink around testing schedules and get away with it. “The repeat alcohol offender cycle isn’t just costly in terms of money, it’s also a high risk for the local community,” says Don White, spokesman for AMS. “BecauseSCRAM monitors high-risk offenders continuously throughout their sentences, it offers an unprecedented level of accountability. Once the bracelet is locked on an offender’s ankle, most think long and hard before drinking. It’s a powerful deterrent.”

According to White, SCRAM has monitored more than 30,000 offenders since its launch in April 2003, and the product has been in use in the Spokane area since early 2006. “A partnership with a company like HomeBound Services is extremely beneficial for AMS,” says White. “HomeBound is a highly regarded service provider committed to providing quality services in the local community, including an emphasis on alcohol-related issues. They’re an ideal fit for AMS,” says White.

Will Haas, president of HomeBound Services, agrees. “Our customers are responding very positively to SCRAM, and we expect considerable SCRAMgrowth in the local courts throughout 2007,” says Haas. According to The Century Council, a nonprofit special interest group that provides state-by-state DUI data, Washington has nearly 37,000 DUI arrests each year. Of those, nearly one-third are arrested with a Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.15 or above, which is more than twice the legal limit. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, repeat offenders account for more than one-third of those 37,000 DUI arrests. “SCRAM is gaining momentum every day because judges are looking for a better way to effectively monitor compliance with court orders and increase public safety,” says Haas.

About HomeBound Services
HomeBound Services, LLC provides home surveillance and substance monitoring for pre-trial defendants and sentenced offenders in King and Snohomish counties. HomeBound delivers individualized programs for each court program and serves local communities by providing authorized offenders with secure alternatives to incarceration, at no cost to local governments. HomeBound Services is based in Bellevue, Washington.

About Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc.
Established in 1997, Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. manufactures SCRAM®, the world’s only continuous alcohol testing system that uses 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 52 people across the U.S. and is a privately-held company headquartered in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.