For repeat DUI offenders, staying out of county jail is the number one priority. Most judges dealing with defendants charged with DUI with prior convictions, are primarily concerned with protecting the public from repeat offenders and this normally means putting them in county jail or state prison if the DUI is charged as a felony. However, rehabilitation is also a valid aim of the criminal justice system and judges can be persuaded to consider alternatives to jail that directly address a defendants future sobriety. Afterall, addressing the underlying problem with alcohol is ultimately the best way to protect the public in the long run.

An alternative to county jail that is finding favor with a lot of judges is SCRAM. This stands for Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring. The defendant is required to wear an ankle bracelet that is lightweight and designed for continuous use. The bracelet is able to detect the use of alcohol by measuring the amount of alcohol migrating through the defendants skin. Subjects maintain their normal daily routine. The system provides the Court with a continuous alcohol monitoring system. If the defendant abstains from alcohol for the period of SCRAM use, he or she avoids jail. If the defendant uses alcohol, the device will record this and a report will be sent to the Court leading to probation violation proceedings and jail time.

In Los Angeles County, the company that operates and supervises SCRAM is based in Long Beach and can be contacted by calling 310 888 8707. The cost of SCRAM is typically $15 per day, with a $100 activation fee. The SCRAM device is also able to operate as an electronic home confinement bracelet in conjunction with SCRAM, so that a defendant is restricted to his or her home in the evening and at weekends.

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