Understanding a SCRAM bracelet in relation to NY DWI charges.
A SCRAM device is an alcohol-monitoring bracelet. It usually comes up as part of an application for a defendant’s release on his or her own recognizance or as a condition of probation in criminal cases for drunk driving. However, they can come up in other cases. In addition to drunk driving cases, NY courts also order alcohol monitoring for litigants in family court, defendants in domestic violence cases who are accused of having alcohol play a role, minors who are under 21 years old and defendants charged with drug crimes in addition to abusing alcohol.
In NY criminal cases, defendants are usually ordered to wear a SCRAM bracelet for a definite period of time. Usually for 60 to 90 days but sometimes for even longer as a condition of probation or parole. While the Court Order is in place for a defendant to wear a SCRAM bracelet it can not be removed. The SCRAM bracelet has built it anti-tampering features.
The purpose of the SCRAM bracelet is to ensure abstinence from alcohol. The SCRAM bracelet was patented by the Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. SCRAM stands for Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor. It’s a bracelet that is worn on the ankle and it measures a defendant’s blood alcohol level through the prespiration on the skim. The measurement of transdermal alcohol content is converted into a readable blood alcohol level. The SCRAM bracelet has a pump that sucks in the perspiration every 30 minutes. When the SCRAM is doing a reading there is a light buzzing noise. However, the SCRAM bracelets are built to be as unobtrusive as possible. The box that is attached to the bracelet has the same mechanism as the breathalyzer. It collects the data and uploads it through a modem and the data is analyzed by outside monitors. The SCRAM bracelet is configured with a digital or analog phone line.
Generally, in New York the courts will require you be monitored by an outside company. SCRAM systems has a network of providers available on their website here. Also, you can call them at (800) 577-0861. In addition to the one time setup fee ($100 +/-) there is a monthly monitoring fee ($500+/-) that is applicable to individuals who are required to wear SCRAM bracelets.
Generally, NY courts have held that SCRAM bracelets are scientifically sound evidence and can be admitted into evidence in NY court proceedings. However, the calibration and other maintenance documents are fertile grounds for cross examination.
If you are considering a plea to a DWI charge with the condition of wearing a SCRAM bracelet you must carefully consider your options. Speak to a Queens criminal lawyer at Spodek Law Group 24/7 at (718) 596-3700.
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