As technology changes, so do the court's methods to enforce sentences, including using devices like SCRAM for monitoring alcohol consumption. With DUI advocacy becoming a hot-button topic over the last 20 years, the courts are trying their best to enforce sentences for drivers who have been arrested for drunk driving.

The state attorney's office in Palm Beach Gardens enacted a first-time DUI offender program. This program aims to give first-time offenders a chance to have a DUI offense removed from their records while also working to reduce recidivism for such charges. Consulting with a knowledgeable Palm Beach Gardens DUI attorney is essential to navigating the complexities of this program.

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What is a SCRAM Monitor? 

One of the ways the program aims to reduce recidivism is to have a three-month alcohol monitoring device. One of those monitoring devices is called SCRAM. It is an acronym for Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor. A SCRAM monitor is a bracelet that goes around the defendant's ankle and electronically monitors the use of alcohol through the skin. When the bracelet is in place, it takes readings once per hour. If alcohol is detected, readings are taken twice per hour and are reported to a remote monitoring service.

The Positives of Using SCRAM

The SCRAM monitor works best when it’s worn for at least 90 days so that the offender has enough time to remain sober and to start the treatment program. A preliminary evaluation of the SCRAM monitor showed a reduced recidivism rate for those who use the product by about 3%. However, when the offender had two prior offenses, the recidivism rate using the monitor dropped significantly by about 13%.

The positives of using a SCRAM monitor are the reduction in recidivism and the enforcement of punishment issued by a court. Previously, if an offender were on probation for DUI, the probation officer would have to initiate random breath or urine tests to determine alcohol. Here, the SCRAM monitor is always working.

Palm Beach Gardens resident wearing a SCRAM monitoring deviceThe Downside of a SCRAM Monitor

While reducing recidivism is important, we must also have due process. One of the biggest drawbacks of using SCRAM is that by the time the courts are alerted that there is a positive test, there is no way for an individual to attain an independent test. While scram alerts the private company that there is a positive test, the company may take several weeks to alert the courts and/or probation of the allegation. By that time, it is too late for the defendant to obtain an independent test to show that a person consumes alcohol.

This leaves us with the debate as to whether or not the results of a scram monitor should be used in court to prove that the defendant violated a term or condition of probation. An article by Michael Hlastala addresses this issue; he firmly believes it should not be used for evidentiary purposes but should be used to require a more stringent test.

A Step Towards a Brighter Future 

On the bright side, society is coming around to fixing the problem (helping someone who has an issue with alcohol) rather than just punishing the crime. This gives individuals a chance to move on from a bad decision without it impacting their future. Furthermore, this shift towards rehabilitation fosters a more compassionate and supportive community, encouraging long-term recovery and personal growth.

How a Palm Beach Gardens DUI Attorney Can Help

When using a SCRAM monitoring device, hiring a lawyer can be crucial. Firstly, an attorney can provide guidance on legal implications and rights regarding the device's use, ensuring that all procedures are followed correctly. Secondly, they can advocate for fair treatment and challenge any erroneous readings or violations that may arise. Lastly, a Palm Beach Gardens DUI attorney can negotiate with authorities to mitigate consequences or explore alternative sentencing options based on the monitoring results.

Contact a DUI Attorney in Palm Beach Gardens

Contact our firm for a free legal consultation, 24/7, online or by phone. Just click the button below or call 561.671.5995 now! We are committed to guiding you through the complex legal process, offering personalized, compassionate legal representation every step of the way.

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