When a person is charged or convicted of a Virginia DUI, he or she faces many different kinds of penalties, including jail time, high fines, and loss of his or her right to drive. That person may also be out on bond or put on probation and required to wear a device called a SCRAM bracelet. SCRAM units may allow a certain amount of freedom, but it is important to know what they are and what they do when you strap one on after a DUI.
SCRAM - Alcohol Testing Device used in Virginia
SCRAM stands for "Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor." It is an alcohol testing device that straps to your lower leg. A SCRAM device typically is a set of two black boxes that are secured by a locking strap.
The SCRAM device is able to test your body for the presence of alcohol in real time, meaning there is no getting around the alcohol testing schedule that normally occurs at the probation department. It follows you around, testing you all day long.
How does a SCRAM bracelet work in Virginia?
SCRAM devices test alcohol presence through the skin, called transdermal testing. When a person drinks alcohol, about 95% of the alcohol is metabolized by the liver, around 4% is excreted through the lungs and kidneys (breath and urine), and around 1% is excreted through the skin.
The SCRAM device is able to detect the presence of alcohol on and through the skin to know whether a person has been drinking alcohol. The device will then send feedback to whoever is monitoring the device, like the probation department. It can also deliver reports to the probation department, the prosecutor, and the judge to show if you have or have not been drinking.
When is a SCRAM Device Used in Virginia?
SCRAM devices are becoming prevalent in many DUI cases. Whether this is your first DUI or fourth DUI, you face the possibility of having to wear a SCRAM device. They are most commonly used for repeat DUI offenders and those whose blood alcohol content (BAC) reached high levels during the time of your arrest.
SCRAM is typically used as a condition of bond, or if you are placed on probation rather than jail time. It is intended to keep you from drinking and to act as a deterrent from alcohol use while you receive treatment.
What is it like to wear the SCRAM bracelet?
A SCRAM device can be very uncomfortable to wear, according to those who have had to wear it. Most people are used to cotton socks around their ankles, not a rubber strap. Users have indicated discomfort, chafing, and pain around the ankle area. It also tends to be very noticeable unless you are wearing long and loose fitting pants.
Most people, however, are still more willing to wear a SCRAM device rather than go to jail. Ultimately, consult with your Virginia DUI attorney if you have questions about whether you should wear a SCRAM device.
Consult a Charlottesville DUI Attorney Today
A DUI charge can carry serious consequences. If charged with DUI, you have options to fight your charges. To protect your constitutional rights, you need Virginia DUI attorney Bryan J. Jones to defend you. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case.