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In 2004, Ohio became the first state to enact a law allowing continuous alcohol monitoring bracelets to become an option for sentencing in DUI / OVI cases. The devices used for this are referred to as SCRAMs, which stands for secure continuous remote alcohol monitor. A SCRAM is an ankle bracelet and modem combination device like a home arrest ankle bracelet. Instead of tracking where the wearer is located, however, the device monitors alcohol consumption by testing sweat. If you are facing a criminal charge for drunk driving, it is important to understand the penalties that you may be facing, including a SCRAM device and how it could apply to your daily life. Assisting clients throughout Akron and other areas of Cuyahoga County, Cleveland DUI lawyer A. Dale Naticchia offers a free consultation to help you learn about your rights and the best way to defend yourself against a DUI / OVI charge.SCRAM Devices as Part of DUI / OVI Sentencing
Under Ohio law, a DUI offense is technically defined as operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI). This offense applies in situations where the driver’s blood alcohol content is 0.08 or higher, or where the driver is considered to be impaired by alcohol, drugs, or both. When it comes to sentencing for DUI / OVI cases, there are many options available to the court. SCRAM devices are a popular choice for sentencing because of the ability to monitor a wearer’s alcohol consumption around the clock. It also minimizes the resources that the government needs to perform check-ins and monitoring of someone who is carrying out a sentence following a DUI / OVI. If the court system does not use an alcohol monitoring bracelet, it likely must use burdensome in-person testing to detect whether alcohol has been consumed, which is less efficient and reliable than the SCRAM bracelet. Since 2004, several other states have adopted the devices and offered defendants a way to avoid jail time by agreeing to wear a SCRAM bracelet instead.
SCRAM devices work by monitoring the sweat that your body produces. If a wearer of the device consumes alcohol and it is detected through the sweat, the device sends an alert to your probation officer who monitors your device remotely. You may be required to complete the jail time that you initially avoided if your SCRAM device detects alcohol. It is important to note that other substances that contain alcohol like body wash, shampoo, lotion, and mouthwash may trigger the device with a false positive warning.
Judges will impose the use of SCRAM bracelets as part of a sentence for repeat offenders and rarely require first-time offenders to wear them. SCRAM bracelets can also be included as part of the conditions for parole for someone who is carrying out a jail sentence for a DUI / OVI or repeat DUI / OVI charges. It is also common for a court to require someone to wear a SCRAM bracelet if they are completing an alcohol treatment program as part of their sentence. This allows the court to determine whether you are complying with the program and working to reduce any dependency or usage of alcohol. It is also possible to have a judge require a defendant to wear a SCRAM bracelet before their trial takes place. This provides an opportunity to exhibit good behavior that could help reduce any ultimate sentence imposed against you. Your attorney can help you strategize regarding how a SCRAM device can factor into your defense and sentencing.Alcohol Monitoring Bracelet Costs
Finally, Ohio law requires the convicted individual to pay for the cost of the alcohol monitoring bracelet. This includes charges on a per-day basis as well as a deposit for the device itself and regular monitoring services. The average cost of a SCRAM bracelet in Ohio is roughly eleven dollars per day which results in a total fee of around $300 per month on top of the $100 installation fee.Diligent Cleveland Lawyer for DUI / OVI Defense
If you are facing your first or a subsequent DUI / OVI charge it is critical for you to know what you are up against and ensure that you are being treated fairly. If the judge decides to throw the book at you, then you may face serious consequences that will have a permanent impact on your future. Cleveland attorney A. Dale Naticchia is available to represent clients throughout Parma, Berea, Bedford, Rocky River, Garfield Heights, Stow, and Barberton. Contact him today at 216-520-5297 or online to get started.