Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring, or SCRAM for short is one of a number of new devices used to monitor people on probation for DUI. SCRAM monitors a persons sweat to determine if any alcohol has been consumed. The device is clamped onto a persons ankle and at least once per day, the wearer moves close to a modem, normally in their home which sends information to a computer. This information is then retrieved by the monitoring agency. When ordered by a court, the defendant has the responsibility to pay for the system, although it typically costs about $15 per day.
For multiple offenders, voluntarily engaging in SCRAM over a period of time prior to settlement of the case, can be an effective tool in negotiating a beneficial settlement. Some judges will also accept SCRAM standing alone or in conjunction with electronic home confinement or home arrest as an alternative to county jail time in DUI cases.
Due to the ever increasing concern about drunk driving in Orange County and Los Angeles, courts are increasingly imposing tougher sentences including lengthy jail sentences in DUI cases. Rehabilitation remains a valid concern for the courts however, and proof of sobriety through SCRAM should be seen as a positive step towards protecting the community from repeat offenders.