What Are SCRAM Systems and How Do They Work? – Omaha Criminal Defense Lawyer

scram device and how they workCourts and probation departments often rely on technology to track people who are on pretrial release or probation.

GPS bracelets and electronic monitoring systems are nothing new.

However, evolving technology now allows courts to monitor people’s sobriety remotely with a SCRAM bracelet device. 

If you struggle with an addiction to alcohol, a SCRAM device can help you maintain sobriety while you are on a pretrial release or probation.

However, submitting to random alcohol testing limits your freedom, and failing a test could land you in jail.

That’s why you need to talk with a dedicated Nebraska DUI lawyer about your options.

Omaha DUI defense attorney Thomas M. Petersen of Petersen Criminal Defense Law can evaluate your case and advise you of your rights. 

What Is SCRAM Monitoring?

SCRAM is an acronym for Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring. The device tests your perspiration or breath for the presence of alcohol.

Some SCRAM units are similar to ignition interlock devices, meaning the user must blow into the machine to provide a breath sample. 

The device analyzes the test sample and reports its findings to a database. The machine flags positive test results, which are then sent to the person monitoring you. 

Traditional Devices

If you have to wear a traditional SCRAM device, the unit will prompt you to give a sample at regular intervals.

Random sampling is the only accurate method to determine if a person drinks. Some devices can take a picture of the person providing the sample.

Verifying the user’s identity helps ensure that the right person is giving a sample. 

Newer SCRAM Bracelets

A SCRAM bracelet is a newer version of the device. You wear them around your ankle like a GPS tracking device.

These ankle bracelets test your perspiration for alcohol metabolites. (An alcohol metabolite is the bi-product of alcohol after digestion.)

If the SCRAM detects any alcohol, it records a drinking event. Unlike breathalyzer machines, a SCRAM device cannot provide a blood alcohol concentration measurement. 

SCRAM units are also GPS devices. That means the SCRAM unit can monitor the whereabouts of the person using it. 

SCRAM devices are not only for DUI cases. A judge can order someone to remain sober and use the device when a person’s charges stem from alcohol abuse.

For example, a person facing domestic violence charges might have a SCRAM unit if the charges stem from alcohol abuse. 

Is the SCRAM Bracelet Reliable?

SCRAM alcohol monitoring is reliable but not foolproof. They are incompatible with some medical conditions.

For instance, a person with a history of strokes or heart defects can give false positive results. 

There are other instances when the SCRAM device doesn’t work correctly. They are only machines, after all, and are only as good as the people who program and run them.

By comparison, judges from various parts of the country have deemed breathalyzer tests to be unreliable even though police have used them for decades. The same thing could happen with SCRAM units in the future. 

You might think that a positive reading automatically means you are in trouble.

That’s because people can be scared into thinking that technology is infallible. But it’s not.

Suppose your freedom is at stake because of a false positive SCRAM bracelet test. In that case, you will need representation from a tough and dedicated lawyer committed to vigorously defending his clients.

Attorney Tom Petersen is not afraid to confront potentially fallible technology.

He has the experience to contest SCRAM unit results in court and can be your best chance at resolving your case with little to no negative impact on your life. 

What Can Happen to Me If I Violate the SCRAM Order?

There are rules you need to follow when wearing a SCRAM device.

Not only do you have to provide negative samples, but you also cannot tamper with the device, remove the device if it is secured to your body, cut the strap, remove the battery, or fail to charge it.

Any attempts to “trick” the device will trigger a notification of the violation to your probation officer. 

If they receive such a notification, your probation officer or the prosecutor’s office can ask the judge for an arrest warrant.

Having a warrant means you are subject to getting arrested at home, at your job, or anywhere in public.  

The consequences of violating the judge’s SCRAM order depend on why you must wear the device in the first place.

If you are on probation for an alcohol-related charge like DUI, then the judge could revoke your probation and send you to jail.

But the judge has other options, like sending you to inpatient alcohol treatment instead of jail. 

A person wearing a SCRAM device before a conviction and while on pretrial release faces different consequences.

The judge could alter the bond terms or revoke the person’s bond and send them to jail to await the resolution of their case.

Judges have broad discretion in that respect. Some judges will give the accused a break; others will not. You should not rely on a soft-on-crime judge to give you a break if you violated a SCRAM order.

Instead, you will need help from an aggressive Nebraska criminal defense lawyer to fight to keep you out of jail.

Experienced Omaha DUI Defense Lawyer 

Nebraska DUI defense lawyer Tom Petersen has vigorously defended his clients for nearly 20 years.

He knows what’s at stake for you and your family, so he takes a no-nonsense approach to DUI and criminal defense.

You can count on Tom and his staff to provide you with the best defense possible.

Call 402-235-4962 today to learn more about your options. 

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