SCRAM – the Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor – is becoming more popular in Virginia courts both before and after trial. SCRAM is an alcohol tester that straps on to your lower leg. It typically consists of two black boxes secured by a locking strap.
The most common use of SCRAM continues to be as a condition of bond. If you want out of jail before trial – you have to wear SCRAM. While a number of judges across Virginia require SCRAM for a second DUI charge, some judges in central Virginia now require SCRAM in many first DUI cases – especially if there was an elevated blood alcohol level (a breath alcohol reading of 0.015 grams per 210 liters of breath or higher).
The newest twist in Virginia is that a few judges are requiring SCRAM after conviction for all DWIs! This is in addition to ignition interlock. Since July of 2012, everyone who has been convicted of drunk driving has been required to have ignition interlock on their car for at least 6 months. SCRAM is not being offered as a substitute, but an additional requirement! You get a breath test device on your car AND an alcohol test box on your leg.
It’s commonly said that you can complete 6 months of ignition interlock for about $600. But SCRAM is usually $12 to $15 per day. That can be $450 for a single month! There’s no question who is going to foot the bill (that would be you.). Those costs are in addition to a court fine and costs of at least $460 and Alcohol Safety Class fees of at least $400. (We won’t talk about collateral expenses that include, but are not limited to, increased insurance costs, job loss or stagnation, etc.)
What is it like to wear SCRAM?
By almost unanimous vote the anklet is better than staying in jail until trial. After that, it’s a real pain. The most common complaint is that after a lifetime of only soft sock contact a rubber strap and two plastic boxes adhering to your lower leg hurts, chafes, and sometimes causes rash or infections. It’s easier to hide the boxes in winter clothing but really tough in summer. Almost everyone talks about people’s reactions when they see SCRAM: mothers gather their children close and the opposite sex is rarely ever impressed! Even when well hidden, people can sometimes hear the box vibrate as it samples your sweat. (Best advice: pretend it’s your cell phone!)
NEXT MONTH: Is SCRAM Accurate?
Our passion at Tillotson & Martin, L.L.C., is defending citizens against unfair traffic & DUI laws. We write the book for DWI defense for Virginia attorneys and provide seminars for attorneys on how to beat the breath test machine. We train extensively to develop and improve cutting edge defenses. Our attorneys are active National College for DUI Defense members, are certified in NHTSA Field Sobriety Testing, and are trained to interpret breath test and blood test data. The most common questions that clients have are answered on our website at http://dwimanual.com/table-of-contents/
Don’t let a DWI ruin your life. We strive to be the best trained and most prepared Virginia DUI attorneys so that we can aggressively fight for your rights. Call us for a free consultation at (757) 969-5197.