A North Carolina judge implemented the use of SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring bracelets over 10 years ago to help combat drunk driving. Even in its inception, the judge could see that the alcohol monitoring bracelets were providing a huge benefit to the participants and the community-at-large. The SCRAM (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring) device works by measuring the rate at which alcohol is secreted through the skin. The bracelet is worn on the ankle and completes transdermal alcohol testing. The technology behind the SCRAM bracelet continues to improve and has been recognized by over 1600 jurisdictions across the nation.
Alcohol consumption or attempts to tamper with the device are reported to the supervising agency and handled immediately. In some cases, it may mean a violation of the participant’s probation or it could mean that they must report to jail. Given the consequences, the vast majority of participants remain completely sober throughout their monitoring period. The bracelet throughout the years has become tamper-resistant meaning that any attempt to alter the reporting is detected. Many jurisdictions have relieved their overburdened jail systems by using the SCRAM bracelet as an alternative to jail time. This was the case in North Carolina where repeat drunk drivers made up about 1/3 of the arrests. For over 10 years, counties across the nation have been successful at relieving overcrowding in their jail systems while monitoring those that have repeat drunk driving offenses. As a result, many judges have felt that the roads and sidewalks are safer for everyone and drunk drivers are forced to have a change of lifestyle.