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How Does the Scram Bracelet Work?
Definition, Usage & What Not to Do

The SCRAM device, a tamper-resistant bracelet that a DUI offender wears around their ankle, is so sensitive that it can detect blood alcohol content (BAC) of less than 0.02%.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

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How Does the SCRAM Bracelet Work?

The SCRAM bracelet tests for the presence of alcohol using technology that works by non-invasively detecting alcohol that is excreted through the skin (transdermally).

SCRAM bracelets can tell the difference between the consumption of alcohol and external sources of alcohol, such as the use of alcohol-containing products. The bracelets also have temperature and infrared sensors that can detect attempts of tampering or obstruction.

SCRAM bracelets connect wirelessly to a Base Station for readings to be transmitted twice per day. If the wearer is not in range of the Base Station, the bracelet will still gather data and transmit readings when he or she is back in range of the Base Station.

SCRAM stands for "Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor."

When are SCRAM Bracelets Used?

SCRAM bracelets are used most often in DUI cases, such as driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater. They can be ordered as a condition of probation or as an alternative to jail. The most common situations where a SCRAM bracelet can be used include:

  • Repeat DUI offender, such as a third or fourth offense,
  • DUI causing injury,
  • Domestic violence cases where alcohol was involved,
  • Condition of early parole,
  • History of alcoholism,
  • After failed attempts at alcohol treatment.

Judges have broad discretion in using SCRAM bracelets but typically order them when they believe the offender has a severe drinking problem.

What is a SCRAM Violation?

If anything is placed between the bracelet and the skin or there's any deviation to the baseline IR readings, SCRAM CAM will generate a Tamper Alert. Also, if you intentionally expose the device to alcohol either by spilling or spraying, you will have committed a SCRAM violation.

Who Makes the SCRAM Bracelet?

Alcohol Monitoring Systems manufactures and markets SCRAM alcohol and location monitoring technologies. The company’s flagship product, SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (SCRAM CAM), was designed to provide corrections agencies with an effective tool to supervise alcohol-involved offenders.

Launched in 2003, the SCRAM CAM has become the most widely used transdermal alcohol monitoring device in the world.

Do SCRAM Bracelets Detect Drugs?

No, the SCRAM bracelet cannot be used to detect drug use. However, there are drug patches that can detect drugs such as marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin.

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