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Los Angeles DUI Alcohol Monitoring Devices

  • May 24, 2017

    When arrested for a DUI, a person will generally want to get out on bail until his or her case is handled. This will give him or her a chance to meet with Los Angeles DUI attorneys, to attend alcohol education classes and to otherwise prepare for court, all while maintaining his or her job and normal life as much as possible. In some cases, courts require an alcohol monitoring device for these individuals.

    What is a Monitoring Device?

    A monitoring device is a device that is worn on the ankle to monitor and detect alcohol consumption. In California, a SCRAM — or “Secured Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor” — device is used. Since the device can detect the small amounts of alcohol that are secreted from the skin by someone who has consumed alcoholic beverages, this device is used to discourage and detect alcohol use among those who have pending alcohol-related court cases, such as accusations of driving under the influence, or who have been convicted of alcohol-related crimes.

    Who is Expected to Wear an Alcohol Monitoring Device?

    Those who are convicted of driving under the influence might be required to wear one of these monitors, particularly if they have been convicted of multiple offenses. Additionally, someone who has not yet been convicted might also be required to wear one of these monitors in lieu of bail. The idea is that someone who is charged with a DUI after having multiple convictions in the past or someone who is charged with a DUI after testing at a very high blood-alcohol level at the time of arrest could be a risk to society. He or she could be at risk of drinking and driving again, for example, or could otherwise put others at risk due to alcohol use. Wearing one of these monitors allows these individuals to be granted bail while monitoring them to ensure that these things do not happen.

    What are the Problems with These Monitoring Devices?

    On the surface, an alcohol monitoring device might seem like a good idea. After all, it allows individuals who have been arrested for DUI’s and other alcohol-related charges to have their freedom and get out on bail pending their trial, and it can seem like a good way to protect the community from drinking and driving.

    Unfortunately, however, these devices can have lots of problems. First of all, for someone who has a serious alcohol problem, these devices can be dangerous. Someone whose body is dependent on alcohol can suffer from serious withdrawal effects from quitting cold turkey, and they could even suffer from seizures and other serious problems.

    Additionally, many people find that these devices are incredibly uncomfortable to wear. If you find yourself uncomfortable from wearing one of these devices and try to adjust it, it could falsely register that you are attempting to tamper with or remove the device, even if this is not the case. Some people find that it’s difficult for them to conceal the device from their employers, which can make keeping a job difficult.

    Some find that these devices impact daily life in other ways as well. For example, someone who is wearing an alcohol monitoring device has to be careful about using mouthwash or alcohol-based cleansers.

    A lot of people also find these devices to be cost-prohibitive, and the individual who is ordered to wear the device will generally be required to carry at least some of the financial burden of doing so.

    If you have a pending driving under the influence case or if you otherwise need legal representation in California, our Los Angeles DUI lawyers can help. If you contact us, an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney can sit down with you to talk about your case.

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