Courts in Southern Kansas Adopt Booze-Sniffing Ankle Bracelets to Monitor DUI Offenders
WICHITA, KS—Courts within Sedgwick, Harvey, Butler and Reno Counties have joined court programs in 44 other states by adopting the latest fashion in high-tech law enforcement: An ankle bracelet that actually samples an offender’s sweat to continuously monitor for alcohol consumption.
Known as SCRAM® (the Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor), the high-tech anklets are worn 24/7 and sample a subject’s perspiration every half hour, around the clock. The system, which has already monitored more than 100 offenders in south central Kansas, is designed specifically for long-term monitoring of alcohol-involved offenders. Wichita-based Premier Monitoring Solutions, a local provider that services county courts and corrections agencies in the 18th Judicial District, as well as the Municipal and Drug Courts in the City of Wichita, will manage the SCRAM program throughout the four-county area.
According to Denver-based Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. (AMS), which manufactures and markets SCRAM throughout the U.S., “Continuous” Alcohol Monitoring means that 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 significant risk for local communities,” says Don White, vice president of Field Operations for AMS. “BecauseSCRAM monitors high-risk offenders continuously throughout their court-mandated sentences, it offers an unprecedented level of accountability.” The company says that the technology is used to monitor a variety of alcohol-involved offenders, including DUI, domestic violence and drug offenders, as well as in family court. “The continuous testing protocol means that offenders can no longer attempt to drink around testing schedules, like they can with random testing methods,” says White. Premier Monitoring co-founder Chris Fisher explains that SCRAM is gaining momentum in his four-county area because judges are looking for reliable ways to effectively monitor compliance with court orders and increase public safety. “SCRAM is the first cost-effective way that the courts can accomplish that, because taxpayers don’t pay for this technology, the offender does,” says Fisher. According to AMS, in more than 90 percent of the SCRAM programs across the country, the offenders pay for all or a significant portion of the daily monitoring fee. Premiere Monitoring delivers the technology on a sliding scale, using an offender’s income to determine that daily fee.
Alcohol and Crime: The Kansas Perspective
According to The Century Council, which publishes DUI arrest and conviction data, there are more than 17,000 DUI arrests every year in Kansas. Of those convicted, about half were driving with a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.15, or twice the legal limit. Beyond drunk driving, the US Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that in 75 percent of domestic violence offenses, the offender is drunk at the time of the offense.
About Premier Monitoring Solutions
Wichita-based Premier Monitoring Solutions provides house arrest, GPS and alcohol monitoring technology solutions to courts and corrections agencies throughout south central Kansas. Established in 2007, Premier Monitoring Solutions is the exclusive SCRAM Service Provider for Sedgwick, Harvey, Butler and Reno Counties.
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. Since its launch to the marketplace in 2003, SCRAM has monitored over 60,000 offenders and is now in use in 45 states. Alcohol Monitoring Systems employs 86 people across the U.S. and is a privately held company headquartered in Littleton, Colorado.