Part 2: NHTSA Case Studies on Alcohol Monitoring Devices

As we discussed in Part 1: NHTSA Case Studies on SCRAM CAM Bracelets, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a detailed final report on the benefits of using transdermal alcohol monitoring devices such as the SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring bracelet.  The report was comprised of six case studies conducted across the country.  In Part 2, we will look at the first three case studies, their findings and their recommendations.

Colorado – Denver EMP

The first site selected for a case study was in Colorado.  The City and County of Denver Electronic Monitoring Program (EMP) was established in 1994 and provides electronic monitoring services for offenders.  In 2003 the program began using the SCRAM device.  According to the report, while there are strengths and weaknesses to the program, overall staff would recommend the transdermal alcohol monitoring devices.  Of the 4,080 offenders monitored (at the time of the report), 80% were compliant meaning that they had not had any confirmed drinking events or confirmed tamper attempts.  The majority of those that were not compliant were due to tampering violations.  Only 8% of those monitored were found to be non-compliant because of confirmed drinking violations.

Missouri – Jefferson County

The 23rd Judicial Circuit Court in Jefferson County, Missouri implanted the use of SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitors 4 years prior to the report.  Prior to 2006, there was random alcohol and drug testing and in some cases the requirement for the installation of ignition interlock devices, however monitoring was not effectively enforced.  Overall the program has been seen as a success in the community with representatives believing that it has prevented drunk driving.  Of the 410 offenders monitored, 80% were completely compliant.  Of the 20% that were noncompliant, only 6% were found to be in noncompliance because of a drinking violation.

Nebraska – Supreme Court

The third site chosen for the report was the Nebraska Supreme Court Office of Probation Administration.  The pilot program began in 2007 with 500 initial participants.  Program staff using the SCRAM device found that it was easy to use with continuous feedback on participant compliance.  Since the pilot program, nearly 3,000 offenders have been monitored.  82% of those monitored were found to be fully compliant for the duration of the monitoring requirement.  Of the 18% that were determined to be noncompliant, only 6% were due to drinking violations.

Check back next week as we look at the final three sites chosen for case studies.