Part 1: NHTSA Case Studies on SCRAM CAM Bracelets

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released Transdermal Alcohol Monitoring: Case Studies examining the benefits of devices like the SCRAM CAM bracelet.  In the report they conducted six case studies regarding the use of SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring devices in jurisdictions across the country.  In this article we will look at their findings and conclusions.  The six jurisdictions studied were:

  • Colorado (Denver)
  • Missouri (Jefferson County)
  • Nebraska (Statewide)
  • New York (8th Judicial District)
  • North Dakota (24/7 Sobriety Program)
  • Wisconsin (Multi-county)

Courts across the United States have implemented the use of alcohol monitoring devices to reduce drunk driving recidivism, ease overcrowding in jails and allow defendants to maintain a normal life.  Several courts use SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring devices in conjunction with collaborative DUI/DWI courts.  These collaborative courts not only require complete sobriety and 24/7 alcohol monitoring but also focus on treatment instead of just punishment.

In their final report, NHTSA reviewed how transdermal alcohol monitoring devices were used in these programs and how effective these programs are for the communities they serve.  With the exception of New York’s 8th District, all programs had at least an 80% compliance rate meaning offenders did not have any confirmed drinking events or tamper attempts.  According to the report, transdermal monitoring systems such as the SCRAM device offer: improved public safety, user friendliness, cost-effectiveness, alternatives for offenders and good service from vendors.

NHTSA recommends that officials educate themselves on the benefits of transdermal monitoring, providing first-hand experience if possible, establish funding for defendants who are unable to pay, work closely with vendors, establish firm guidelines and assign immediate and appropriate consequences for non-compliant participants.

Check back next week as we look at each individual case study and review more of NHTSA’s findings.