SCRAM Devices in Torrance

SCRAM Legal Issues

When a person is charged with DUI or sentenced for committing a DUI crime, it is expected that from that point forward, they will adhere to state laws that prohibit driving after consuming alcohol. There are different methods of ensuring that an individual is no longer drinking and driving, such as SCRAM. The Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor is a recently developed device that can detect when a person has consumed alcohol. The device, which is worn around the ankle, uses sensors to monitor blood alcohol levels through the skin by measuring the alcohol in a person's sweat. The system converts the number from a perspiration alcohol level to a blood alcohol level. This has become known as the Transdermal Alcohol Content or TAC. The TAC measurement is then transmitted to a central monitoring facility. Although the presence of alcohol can be detected, the reading is not always accurate. As a result, the SCRAM device is primarily used as a screening tool.

When worn, the device will take TAC measurements according to a schedule set up by the court or other monitoring agency. At a predetermined point, the SCRAM bracelet will send measurements through a home modem to a remote computer. The computer houses and interprets the data. The court or agency can then keep track of the information through a secure website.

There are clear limitations to the effectiveness of these measurements. The SCRAM device may be able to detect the consumption of alcohol through sweat; however, it does not give an accurate number for the alcohol in the blood. Furthermore, the device is non-specific for drinking alcohol. In other words, it may also detect extraneous ethanol not consumed as a beverage. Another limitation is the there has been minimal scientific scrutiny of the device. The primary study was commissioned by AMS, the product manufacturer. Furthermore, a very small number of subjects were tested, using methods different from the actual SCRAM device.

A DUI probation violation can result in:

  • An increase in your probationary period
  • Changes in the terms of your probation
  • Probation revocation

If you are accused of violating probation based on a negative SCRAM report, contact a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer that has a solid understanding of the science behind the device for legal advice.

Torrance DUI Attorney

There are two basic SCRAM defenses. The first is to attack the legality of the science behind the device and lack of scrutiny regarding monitoring results. Case law already exists that supports the argument that SCRAM evidence should be excluded. Another defense is to attack the results by obtaining the graphs of the "drinking episode" from the monitoring agency. The person’s medical history and potential for false positives should also be explored.

The Law Offices of Decio Rangel, Jr. will confidently challenge SCRAM reports and ensure your constitutional rights are protected in DUI probation violation cases. We are a well-known criminal defense firm that has provided valuable legal assistance to many clients in DUI-related matters.

Contact a Torrance DUI attorney from our office if a SCRAM report has resulted in a DUI probation violation for informed legal counsel.

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