If you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, or DUI, in Nebraska you face a number of potential judicial and non-judicial penalties if you are ultimately convicted. If you are placed on probation as part of a sentence, your probation may include a number of specific terms and conditions. One of those conditions could be a requirement that you participate in the Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring, or SCRAM, program. Only an experienced Nebraska DUI attorney can answer specific questions about the program and your involvement with it; however, a basic understanding of how SCRAM works may be helpful as well.
One of the concerns that both prosecutors and judges share when sentencing a defendant who has been found guilty of driving under the influence is that the individual will re-offend. This is of particular concern if the defendant has a history of DUI arrests and/or convictions or if the defendant has admitted to a problem with alcohol. Although putting the offender in jail will certainly prevent the defendant from consuming alcohol, a lengthy term of incarceration isn’t always warranted. The SCRAM problem provides an alternative.
The SCRAM program involves the defendant wearing a “bracelet” around his or her ankle 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The device is an “automated alcohol-monitoring device that uses transdermal testing to measure the amount of alcohol in person’s body, known as transdermal alcohol content (TAC). When alcohol is consumed, ethanol migrates through the skin and is excreted through perspiration. SCRAM measures TAC levels by taking a sample of one’s perspiration.” The device is then linked to a phone line in the offender’s home. At specific times during the day the device connects with a centralized computer and uploads the day’s test results. Any evidence of tampering or of alcohol consumption is reported and acted upon by law enforcement or community corrections officials. If you are found to have violated the conditions of your probation by consuming alcohol the judge may revoke your probation and order you to serve your suspended sentence.
SCRAM can also be used as a pre-trial condition of release. If the court is concerned that releasing a defendant would be putting the community at risk, the court may order the defendant to participate in the SCRAM program while the case is pending. In that case, a violation would likely land you back in jail until your case is resolved.
If you have additional questions about a Nebraska DUI case, or the SCRAM program in particular, contact Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180.