Tennessee Legislation Requires Alcohol Monitoring for Drunk Driving Offenses

In 2011, Tennessee passed House Bill 3281 requiring courts to consider a number of options when a defendant is convicted of one or more drunk driving offenses.  The legislation ordered courts to consider the following alcohol monitoring devices as a condition of their release:

  • Ignition Interlock devices;
  • Transdermal monitoring devices;
  • Electronic monitoring with random alcohol or drug testing; or
  • Pretrial residency in an in-patient alcohol or drug rehabilitation center.

Judges may consider these alternatives only after determining that the defendant is a danger to the community.  Electronic monitoring in certain counties is completed with the SCRAM CAM bracelet.  Defendants must wear the device 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as a condition of their pre-trial release.  The device can be worn while showering and exercising.  Defendants can go to work and be productive members of society while awaiting trial.  Participants under HB 3281 have been very successful with 9 out of 10 remaining compliant throughout the monitoring period.  Participants had verifiable sober days 99% of the time.  Court staff and legislators are both pleased with the results of the program.