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NHTSA Studies Impact of SCRAM Alcohol Anklets

Media Type: Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has commissioned and launched an 18-month study focused on evaluating the current prevalence of SCRAM(Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor) technology in the nation’s courts. The new study includes the identification of best-practice SCRAM Programs and the development of case studies to help other agencies considering use of the technology.

SCRAM is an ankle bracelet, worn 24/7, that samples an offender’s perspiration every 30 minutes in order to ensure compliance with court-ordered sobriety. Agencies in 48 states currently use the bracelets to monitor approximately 12,000 offenders daily, including drunk drivers, domestic violence and juvenile offenders. SCRAM anklets are also used as a tool in Family Courts. The Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation is conducting the study.

According to PIRE, the group has completed the process of evaluating a wide range of SCRAM programs and is in the process of selecting 8 to 10 for the SCRAM Case Studies. The studies are intended to provide best-practice models and give courts a better perspective on both the challenges and the potential program impact of 24/7 monitoring.

According to Mike Iiams, president and CEO of Denver-based Alcohol Monitoring Systems Inc., (AMS), which manufactures and markets the SCRAM technology, NHTSA’s interest in studying SCRAM programs is due in large part to the fact that it’s a relatively new technology that’s become mainstream for courts and probation departments. “In the last five years since NHTSA’s first SCRAM study, the focus has shifted from asking, ‘Do they work?’ to ‘What’s the most effective way to use them?’ says Iiams.NHTSA conducted an early evaluation of the first generation of SCRAM back in 2005. He adds that SCRAM’s lengthy track record for meeting judicial scrutiny was also a contributing factor to the selection of their system. As of August, SCRAM has monitored nearly 145,000 for alcohol consumption.

The third generation of the technology, SCRAMx, was released in February of this year and integrates home detention (or “house arrest”) capabilities into the same anklet at the discretion of the courts. The NHTSA study will focus exclusively on alcohol-only testing programs.

About Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc.
Established in 1997, Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. is the world’s largest provider of Continuous Alcohol Monitoring technology. AMS manufacturesSCRAMx, which uses non-invasive transdermal analysis to monitor alcohol consumption and integrates home detention monitoring into a single anklet.SCRAMx 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. AMS employs 123 people across the U.S. and is a privately-held company headquartered in Littleton, Colorado.