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Why SMC Judges impose SCRAM frequently as a condition of release for Seattle DUI charges

Posted by Aaron J. Wolff | Mar 02, 2013 | 0 Comments

What Is A SCRAM Device?

In spring of 2011,the Seattle Municipal Court stated its plans to begin using Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor (SCRAM) devices to supervise the behavior of DUI defendants as a condition of release while they await trial. This is a growing trend across the country the country as Courts are imposing the SCRAM in lieu of incarceration. According to some Seattle Municipal Court judges, the use of SCRAM devices will be restricted to cases involving misdemeanor DUI offenses. Here is what you need to know about the SCRAM device:

The SCRAM device is an ankle bracelet that is able to detect whether or not the individual wearing the device has consumed an alcoholic beverage. Every 30 minutes, the SCRAM bracelet takes a reading of blood alcohol concentration by perspiration through the skin. This device can detect a BAC as low as 0.02%, meaning that it will be able to report the consumption of just one alcoholic beverage. These devices can also detect if an individual has removed or tampered with the bracelet in any way.

One of the main reasons that Seattle judges have decided to begin using the SCRAM device is to provide an alternative to housing defendants in jail as they await trial. Not only can DUI defendants benefit by being able to prepare for their upcoming trials outside of jail, but this requirement can also save the court system a considerable amount of money. In King County Jail, it costs approximately $125 per day to keep an inmate incarcerated. By comparison, if a defendant wears a SCRAM bracelet, he or she is required to pay a daily fee of roughly 15 dollars or less.

As the SCRAM device takes a BAC reading every half hour, it will wirelessly transmit these readings to the Colorado-based company Alcohol Monitoring Systems. This private company sends daily reports to the probation department and courthouse in Seattle that is handling the defendant's pending DUI case. This daily reporting allows the probation department and Court to monitor the defendant's alcohol consumption.

If you've been charged with a DUI in Seattle or King County, the attorneys at Wolff Defense can help you understand the court process for a Seattle DUI and explain your legal options.  Call the attorneys directly at (425) 284-2000 to schedule a free initial consultation.

About the Author

Aaron J. Wolff

A former DUI prosecutor, Aaron Wolff has over 18 years of experience in representing people accused of DUI and is recognized as one of the leading defense lawyers in Washington State. His relentless and passionate advocacy has lead to superb ratings and outstanding reviews from former clients.


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