OKLAHOMA CITY—Oklahoma City-based Specialized Outpatient Services, Inc. (SOS) has entered into a new partnership that will bring a new, high-tech DUI tool to Oklahoma and four other surrounding counties.
Already in use in areas surrounding Norman, Stillwater and Tulsa, SCRAMÒ (for Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol MonitorÒ) is a high-tech alcohol detection bracelet, worn 24 × 7, that samples an individual’s sweat every hour in order to measure for alcohol consumption. Manufactured and marketed by Denver-based Alcohol Monitoring Systems (AMS), the bracelets are used for intensive supervision of high-risk DUI, domestic violence and other types of offenders. The only system of its kind, the bracelets use non-invasive transdermal analysis to provide long-term monitoring of offenders required by the courts to abstain from alcohol consumption.
DUI in Oklahoma
Oklahoma is one of 41 states currently using SCRAM, which has monitored more than 23,000 offenders since its introduction to the corrections market in 2003. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 35 percent of Oklahoma’s traffic fatalities each year are alcohol-related, while the state’s probation and parole population consists of more than 5,000 convicted DUI offenders. On average, nearly 40 percent of DUI arrests are for repeat DUI offenders. “The repeat alcohol offender cycle isn’t just costly in terms of money, it’s also a highrisk for the local community,” says Don White, vice president of Field Operations for Alcohol Monitoring Systems. “Recidivism rates are astounding, and nothing to-date has made a dent in effectively addressing the widespread problem of alcohol abuse and DUI,” he adds.
According to White, AMS delivers the technology by partnering with local service providers, companies that often deliver a variety of services, including drug and alcohol testing and electronic monitoring, to local courts and agencies. A non-profit organization, SOS specializes in substance abuse services, including a number of DUI
specific programs, and they will be incorporating SCRAM into those programs as early as this month. “Specialized Outpatient Services is a highly regarded service provider in Oklahoma, with a significant focus on alcohol-related crime,” says White. “Our technology will really complement their current service offerings, and they’ve got a strong standing in the community. It’s an ideal fit.”
James Patterson, executive director of SOS, says the company is excited to provide SCRAM technology to Oklahoma City and surrounding areas. “The response to this product has been outstanding,” says Patterson. “For the first time, local programs will be able to reliably monitor these high-risk offenders and hold them accountable for their actions.” According to Patterson, the “continuous” testing protocol is the significant differentiator, since random testing programs can allow offenders to drink around testing schedules. Patterson says it’s also essential to help the courts target the offenders and focus on the core issue, which is alcohol abuse. “Once the bracelet is locked on an offender’s ankle, most offenders think long and hard before drinking. It’s a very powerful deterrent.”
Patterson expects considerable growth in SCRAM use throughout their territory, which includes programs in Canadian, Cleveland, Garvin, McClain and Oklahoma counties. SOS has opened a second office in downtown Oklahoma City in order to better serve the Oklahoma County courts and agencies. “As a community outreach center, this allows us to make all of our products , including SCRAM , convenient and accessible to the courts and population we serve,” says Patterson.
About Specialized Outpatient Services, Inc.
A non-profit organization founded in February 2000, Specialized Outpatient Services, Inc. provides a wide range of services, including DUI schools, drug testing, intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment with relapse prevention/ aftercare programs, drug/ alcohol evaluation and assessment services, anger management, domestic violence/ batterers programs, Hispanic programs and teen and family treatment programs. SOS treatment services are certified by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and are accredited by CARF-Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. SOS employs 25 people in two offices and is headquartered in Oklahoma City.
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 intensively 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.