DENVER—Newly released data on individuals monitored every 30 minutes for alcohol consumption shows drinking increases 20.4% on a weekday Halloween, and nearly 25% the weekend prior, compared to drinking the rest of the year.
The data was compiled by Alcohol Monitoring Systems, which monitors heavy drinkers 24/7 to ensure compliance with court- or treatment-mandated sobriety. For these individuals, drinking is a violation, and the consequence is often jail time, making the increase particularly noteworthy. “If these are the individuals being monitored 24/7, every 30 minutes, and they know they’re going to be caught and face consequences, you can imagine the rate of drinking for those who aren’t being monitored,” says Lou Sugo, vice president of Marketing for AMS. “Drunk people generally make poor decisions, and deciding to get behind the wheel of a car is just one of the potential issues,” he adds.
According to AMS, on average 99.3% of the 16,000 individuals they monitor each day have a completely Sober Day, making the uptick in Halloween drinking particularly significant. A Sober Day is defined as a 24-hour period with no drinking and no attempt to tamper or circumvent testing, and the data must be verified and court-validated.
The study looked at data from more than 258,000 offenders monitored since 2003 in 48 states. According to AMS, the data is consistent with the increased awareness, driven by law enforcement, of drunk driving during Halloween weekend. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is running its Halloween impaired driving prevention initiative from October 25 through November 4, and agencies throughout the country are running roadside checkpoints this weekend as well as on Halloween night.
AMS manufactures and markets SCRAMx, an ankle-worn bracelet that samples a person’s sweat, every 30 minutes, 24/7, to test for alcohol consumption. The compliance rate includes tamper or removal violations, as well as actual drinking.
About Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. (AMS)
Established in 1997, AMS is the world’s largest provider of Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (CAM) technology. AMS manufactures SCRAMx, 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. SCRAMx has monitored 255,000 offenders in 48 states. AMS employs 126 people across the U.S. and is a privately-held company headquartered in Littleton, Colorado.