Almost every Houston DWI Attorney has had a client who has been put in the unfortunate situation of placing a SCRAM device on their ankle. A SCRAM device is an ankle monitor used by certain courts in Harris county (and sometimes probation departments) that monitors an individual’s blood alcohol level. The SCRAM device works by taking sweat samples from your body every 20-30 minutes and basically uses that to tell whether or not you have been drinking. Every time the SCRAM monitor takes a reading, it stores the data, and it is eventually forwarded to the court/probation department.
Most commonly this type of monitor is placed on high risk defendants, defendants with multiple DWI convictions, or individuals who have had alcohol problems during the course of their pending cases. Some courts (which exist, but are few and far between) will place this monitor on first time offenders while the case is pending. This is an unfortunate situation that arises from time to time, and unfortunately there is little defendants can do but hope their attorney can work something out with the judge.
Sometimes a standard interlock device, or at home interlock device can be substituted for the SCRAM. Both these options are better since they are both cheaper. Price is definitely one of the negatives of the ankle monitor. The SCRAM device ranges in price from $450-$500 per month, while the at home device costs roughly $150 per month, and the standard vehicle interlock costs around $80 per month. Other negatives to the SCRAM device are that the device is big. No one likes to walk around looking like a criminal, and this device looks like it belongs on a criminal. And the SCRAM monitor is a manmade science, the accuracy of the readings are questionable, but unfortunately readings are taken seriously by courts.
If you have a SCRAM monitor placed on your body in Harris County you should consult with a DWI Lawyer in Houston to see if you have any options available. Your Houston DWI Attorney should be able to consult you on your particular case and tell you what the best (and worst) case scenario is.