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Alcohol Breath Testing Enters the Digital Age

Each day, agencies around the country spend thousands of staff hours looking at photos from alcohol breath testing devices. What started as a way to stop alcohol-involved individuals from having a friend take their unsupervised breath test has turned into a huge drain of time and resources for many law enforcement offices.

Can You Accurately Match 146,000 Photos a Year?

On average, remote breath clients are required to take four tests each day. Devices sample the person’s breath alcohol concentration (BrAC), take their picture, and forward that data on to the officer or agent for review. Multiply four daily tests by the number of clients on a caseload and the photos—and labor—add up quickly.

It takes an average of one full-time staff member to review the photos on a caseload of 100 remote breath alcohol clients. That’s time not spent out in the community or actively working with clients. As the number of photos goes up, the accuracy of manual matching decreases, especially with poor quality photographs. And some understaffed programs simply can’t look at the photos at all.

Think there should be a better option? We did. That’s why when SCRAM Systems designed SCRAM Remote Breath, we made it a priority to reduce the need for manual photo review—while providing high-resolution images for the few photos that need to be checked.

The Power of Automated Facial Verification

SCRAM Remote Breath is the world’s first handheld, wireless, portable breath alcohol device with intelligent, automated facial verification software, bringing breath testing into the digital age.

The device uses an iPhone-quality lens and flash to take a high-resolution photo with each test, providing image quality the corrections industry has never seen before. When assigned to SCRAM Remote Breath, clients use the device to take baseline photos in the presence of their supervising agents, storing their facial identity. Then, the software compares unique points on a client’s face in the baseline and test photos to verify a client’s identity—all within seconds of the test.

The software automatically matches or fails 90–95% of photos. Agents receive alerts only when a match cannot be made, when circumvention is detected or when a client fails a breath test—in other words, for events that really matter. And because of the device’s high-resolution camera, the 5–10% of photos that require a human look are clear and easier to view than ever before.

SCRAM Remote Breath is giving courts and agencies cost-effective and efficient ways to manage lower-risk alcohol clients.

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The SCRAM Systems blog provides news and updates about our suite of software and electronic monitoring products for criminal justice. Since 2003, SCRAM Systems has offered technologies that truly Make a Difference for clients and communities. Led by the success of our flagship SCRAM CAM product, SCRAM Systems delivers innovative software and technology solutions that are on the forefront of what courts, agencies, and treatment providers need.