If you have been arrested on a DUI charge and there are two previous DUI convictions against you, you’ll need to adhere to specific bond conditions. To secure bail and get out of jail, you will only be allowed to drive vehicles approved with an ignition interlock device. You must also abstain from alcohol or drugs during this period. Another potential requirement is the use of a SCRAM (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor) bracelet as part of probations electronic monitoring rule.

A closer look at the SCRAM bracelet

The SCRAM bracelet is an ankle bracelet that DUI offenders are expected to wear 24×7. It monitors alcohol consumption by sampling the wearer’s perspiration every 30 seconds. The manufacturer of the SCRAM bracelet, Colorado-based Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. maintains a database that analyzes alcohol alerts. The company’s analysts investigate the pertinent data before confirming an alcohol alert. When alcohol consumption is confirmed, the offender’s supervising is informed of the matter.

Depending on the seriousness of the DUI offense and the offender’s alcohol abuse, he/she may be required to wear the SCRAM bracelet for anywhere from one month to more than a year. A charge of $12 per day covers the costs and management of the bracelet.

Can SCRAM bracelets trigger false alerts?

There have been instances where triggers have been the result of substances other than ethyl alcohol present in alcohol drinks. The chemicals in spray tans, for instance, can trigger the alcohol-monitoring bracelet. This issue came to the spotlight when it was reported that celebrity Lindsey Lohan had to give up going to spray tanning salons to avoid the risk of triggering her SCRAM bracelet. In another case, a 17-year old hair salon employee had to contend with three false SCRAM alerts caused by an ‘occupational hazard’ : handling hairspray every day.

The experiences of some wearers of SCRAM alcohol-monitoring bracelets suggest that transdermal pain patches can also trigger alerts. There have also been reports of false positives in instances where the wearers weren’t drinking and in the absence of any external interference. It can be safely concurred that certain substances other than alcohol can cause false positives; this is also a reason why it is advised that wearers avoid using mouthwash as it contains alcohol.

In one Michigan case, a judge ruled that the SCRAM bracelet was not 100% reliable, and the reliability of detecting alcohol through the skin has also been questioned.

A different issue with the SCRAM bracelet is the skin irritation it causes. Most wearers find it physically uncomfortable and tend to rub their leg raw. Those who are allergic to metal have also reported bone infection from resulting from the impact of metal on bare skin.

To avoid any problems from wearing a SCRAM bracelet, hire an experienced Colorado DUI attorney to relieve yourself from one or more bond conditions.