SCRAM Monitor

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.

Eric Benavides
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Eric Benavides

Criminal Defense Attorney at Benavides & Serrano
Eric Benavides is a Houston Criminal Defense Attorny and immigration lawyer.He is one of the co-founders of Benavides and Serrano.He is a member of the Harris County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Houston Young Lawyers Association, and is licensed to practice law in the state by the Supreme Court of Texas and federally by the Southern District of Texas.
Eric Benavides
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2 Thoughts on “SCRAM Monitor

  1. Renee Mair  |  

    My name is Sylvia Renee Mair. On July 17, 2015 on multiple DWI’s. Along with many probation requirements. I had to install a scram ankle device. I had a “Tamper” violation in Novberber and my PO didn’t put is as a violation. I have never failed a test and I’m 100% compliant with my probation requirements. I showed another “Tamper on Jan 31, 2016. I went in the next day to get it tightened. I also have an in home blow unit but they said no alcohol was detected but the times were off. My PO said I might have to go to jail for 3 days. I am extremely confused and nervous because I did NOTHING to tamper and I am 8+ months sober. I do not feel like my current laywer is fighting for me. The court and the judge are using me as an example and seem to want to punish me even though I’ve done nothing wrong with my probation. I have spent over 35,000 with all of this and I’m down to the last bit of savings. If you can help, please contact me as soon as possible. Thank you for your time.

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