Sweat Ankle Monitors Holding DUI Violators Accountable under Florida Law
Kelly L. Rooth, Shareholder
A DUI sentence usually involves either jail time or probation. Defendants can be released on bail as they wait for their pending trial. Judges usually order these individuals to stop drinking alcohol while they are released or on probation. The challenge is, how do authorities ensure that defendants are complying with this requirement?
There are various ways to hold the defendants accountable, such as mandatory AA meetings, visits to probation officiers, and random urine sampling. If they fail to comply, the defendants face more possible jail time. A relatively new method of implementing the Tampa Bay area justice system’s anti-alcohol strategy involves requiring defendants convicted of driving under the influence to wear an alcohol monitoring device 24 hours a day on their ankle as part of their DUI sentence.
The device used to hold the DUI defendant accountable is called the Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor (more commonly known as the “SCRAM Monitor”). The monitor was originally made famous when it was worn by Lindsey Lohan and is currently used on Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties. DUI defendants wear the monitor on their leg, above the ankle. The monitor samples sweat from the skin every 30 minutes and sends results to a centralized computer and ultimately, to the court. The monitor contains anti-tampering technology and for example, was able to catch the individual who stuck baloney between his skin and his monitor in an effort to avoid the monitor’s picking up the alcohol in his sweat.
The monitors are pricey- $10 a day! About 50 are in use at any time in the Tampa Bay area and over 10,000 SCRAM Monitors are used nation-wide. The SCRAM Monitors have been shown to be effective for continuously monitoring serious alcohol offenders and domestic violence offenders whose crimes often involve alcohol. After wearing the monitor over a period, DUI offenders report finding their alcohol cravings subside and become optimistic they are able to stay away from drinking.
If you have questions about the SCRAM anklets or your DUI charge, do not hesistate to contact St. Petersburg DUI defense lawyers at Rooth Law Group for a free consultation today.