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Missouri Introducing New Weapon to Battle State’s DWI Epidemic

Media Type: Press Release

DENVER—Eastern Missouri Alternative Sentencing Services, Inc. (EMASS) and Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. (AMS) are joining forces to introduce a new alcohol testing system to monitor high-risk DWI offenders in the state of Missouri. EMASS will deliver what many are calling the best tool in the fight against DWI and other alcohol offenders to hit the market in more than a decade.

Designed specifically for application in long-term alcohol monitoring programs where abstinence is an absolute requirement, SCRAM™ (or the Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor™) includes a bracelet-modem combination like a home-arrest system. But the breakthrough comes in the introduction of Transdermal Testing. The bracelet, worn around the clock, samples an individual’s insensible perspiration 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 DWI offenders. “Recidivism rates are astounding across the country, and nothing to date has made a dent in that problem,” says Iiams. 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 testing violators. “We needed to find a way to minimize the resources required for testing and supervision while maximizing accuracy and accountability. Testing someone 24 times per day, every day, no matter where they’re at or what they’re doing, provides exactly that accountability,” states Iiams.

Since its launch in March of 2003, SCRAM has completed roughly 2.5 million transdermal alcohol tests on over 2,200 offenders across the country. The product has seen rapid adoption in many of the largest jurisdictions in the country, including Orange County in California, Wayne County in Michigan, Marion County in Indiana, Hennepin and Ramsey Counties in Minnesota, Maricopa County in Arizona, and Dallas County in Texas.

According to EMASS President Michael L. Smith, the decision to offerSCRAM in jurisdictions in eastern Missouri was an easy one to make. “There is a critical need for this type of testing system which is ideal for problematicDWI offenders and other typical alcohol-present offenses such as assault, domestic violence, and even child custody issues. The staff at EMASSbelieves strongly that it is important to provide this type of technology to the criminal justice system in that this technology can potentially have a great impact on both the individual and public safety. Dealing with alcohol offenders usually includes a comprehensive program of sanctions, education, and treatment. The more information available to assess individuals and detect whether they are in compliance with their court-ordered mandates, the better the chance that they will successfully complete the supervision and become alcohol free,” added Smith.

As with most monitoring programs, the offenders are responsible for the cost of the SCRAM system through a daily monitoring fee and, therefore, there is no cost to a court or specific county. Smith anticipates rapid expansion in the next several months. “We’re working closely with a number of jurisdictions in eastern Missouri to integrate SCRAM in the area,” said Smith. AMS anticipates that more than 6,000 offenders throughout the United States will be monitored by SCRAM by the end of 2004.

Founded in 1991, EMASS is a for-profit agency that provides a wide range of services to the courts and criminal justice system. Services include private probation supervision, pre-sentence investigations, SATOP service for DWI offenders, domestic violence counseling and education seminars, driver improvement programs, alcohol/drug education programs, and traditional electronic (house arrest) monitoring. EMASS has offices in St. Charles, St. Louis, Florissant, Olivetti, Warrantor, and Troy, Missouri.

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