False positives can result in offenders being sent back to jail, having their bond revoked, or being ordered to continue wearing the SCRAM bracelet, the plaintiffs claim.
In criminal prosecutions for offenses such as drunk driving, courts sometimes order individuals to wear such monitoring devices to monitor their consumption of alcohol. The devices are manufactured by defendant Alcohol Monitoring Systems.
Wearers are required to wear the ankle bracelet constantly. Once a day, the wearer must upload device information to a monitoring center in Colorado, operated by AMS. But according to Hansen and Oh, these SCRAM devices are inherently prone to reporting false positives due to the nature of transdermal alcohol monitoring.
They claim that even when the wearer has consumed no alcohol, these devices are likely to detect and report environmental alcohol as a false positive. Fragrances, hand sanitizer, cleaning products or gasoline all can trigger a false positive from a SCRAM device, the plaintiffs claim. Hansen and Oh argue that representation is false and misleading. Other reports showed a SCRAM device signaling a positive result at the same time a breath-alcohol test detected no alcohol at all.
Hansen claims her SCRAM device generated a false positive result while she was undergoing treatment at a alcohol rehabilitation center, where she could not and did not have access to alcohol. Breathalyzer testing conducted just before and after the SCRAM report showed she had not been drinking at all, Hansen claims. Hansen and Oh are proposing to represent a nationwide plaintiff Class that would cover all persons in the U.
They also propose a subclass consisting of Class Members in California. The plaintiffs are represented by attorney Edwin I. Aimufua of Law Offices of Edwin I. District Court for the Central District of California. Top Class Actions will let viewers know if a new case is filed. Sign up for our free newsletter.
Select a tab below to see some of the most frequently asked client questions and answers about our monitoring technologies. You can also read our Health and Safety Notice. For specific questions or concerns about your device or related to your case, please contact the company or agency that is handling your monitoring.
If you need to sign up for monitoring, click here to locate a provider in your area. How do I get started? Program charges vary based on your individual sentence, local program parameters, your financial obligations, and other services associated with your monitoring. There is typically a one-time installation fee and a recurring monitoring fee, usually charged weekly or every two weeks. Your program may require you to prepay for your monitoring a week or two in advance.
Does the bracelet make noise? If your agent allows you to connect your base station to your Wi-Fi, click here to set up your connection. You should not consume food or beverages that contain alcohol. The application of small quantities of cologne or perfume in areas far from the bracelet should not be problematic. Can I travel and go through TSA screening? Whether or not you can travel is up to your supervising agency. Check with your agent before your trip.
When passing through security, inform the TSA agent that you are wearing an electronic monitoring device that you cannot remove.
The TSA agent may swab the bracelet and test it and pat down the area around the bracelet. If you need an MRI, X-Ray, or CT scan, please work with your supervising agent to remove the bracelet before your medical appointment and procedure.
Your agent may also have additional requirements. Can I exercise with the bracelet on? Will it flop around and will that register as tampering? Exercise does not impact the functions of the bracelet. Just make sure nothing gets between the bracelet and your leg.
Can I wear boots or leggings? You can wear boots or leggings on top of the bracelet, however some clients report that wearing boots can cause the bracelet to rub against their skin. Will I set off alarms when I go through security checkpoints, like leaving a department or convenience store?
Can I shower? What about swimming or hot tubs? You are not allowed to submerge the bracelet in water i. You can shower, and in fact, you need to shower in order to keep the area around the bracelet clean. Can I wear cologne or perfume? Applying a small amount of cologne or perfume to areas far from the bracelet should not be problematic. However, you should avoid using any products on or near the bracelet that contain alcohol, as outlined in your Program Participant Agreement.
Be aware that if the bracelet detects environmental alcohol from a product like perfume, your supervising agent may view this as an attempt to tamper with the device and you may be held accountable for violating your Program Participant Agreement. What lotions can I wear? As outlined in your Program Participant Agreement, avoid lotions with alcohol on or near the bracelet.
Can I spray tan? Absolutely not. As outlined in your Program Participant Agreement, you should avoid using any alcohol-containing products on or around the bracelet. Many clients are exposed to hair color and other similar products without any issues.
When in doubt, talk to your PO or supervising agent. What if I kiss someone who has been drinking? If you need additional information or have a question specific to your situation, please contact the company or agency handling your monitoring. How to I take a breath test?
Firmly insert the breath tube into your device. Before starting your test: Move to a well-lit area away from direct sunlight. Remove your hat and sunglasses. Brush aside any hair hanging over your face. Stand or sit with your back to a wall, hold your head upright, and look directly forward. Hold the device to your mouth with the breath tube level with the floor.
Do NOT blow as hard as you possibly can as this can distort test photos. If the device cannot take a good photo due to a poor angle, too much sunlight, or obstructions around your face, it will provide you with instructions to correct the issue.
If a retest is required: The device will display a countdown until the test. Retake the test when the device displays BLOW. How do I get a good photo when the Remote Breath device takes my picture? If the device cannot take a good photo it will provide you with instructions to correct the issue.
Why did my Remote Breath device require me to retest? Your device may prompt you to retest if your testing photo does not meet the quality necessary to automatically match it to your enrollment photo.
How do I silence the device? Press the Mute button to silence the device. The red light above the sound button will continue to blink even if the device is silenced. How do I charge the device? Plug the device into any AC power outlet using the provided power cord. How often do I need to charge my Remote Breath device? You should charge your device every day until the light above the battery icon is green. This will ensure you have enough battery life to take your required tests.
Many clients make it a habit to plug in their device when they go to bed so that it is fully charged for the next day. Can I take a test while the device is plugged in and charging? You can take a test while the device is plugged in.
The device has different colored solid and blinking lights above the battery icon. What do the lights mean? The lights indicate the level of battery charge available and whether the device is plugged in: Blinking green: Fully charged, but not plugged into a power source Blinking yellow: Charge is low Blinking red: Charge is critically low Solid green: Fully charged and plugged into a power source Solid yellow: Charging, but still low Solid red: Charging, but still critically low My device powered up for no apparent reason.
It did not request a test and then shut down. How do I clean my device? The best way to keep your device clean is to keep it in its case in-between tests. Do not submerge the device in water.
Breath tubes can be cleaned in a dishwasher or with warm water and dish soap. WARNING: The use of an alcohol-based cleaner or disinfectant could damage the device and could be viewed by your officer as an attempt to tamper. Can breath tubes be reused?
You can reuse breath tubes and they can be cleaned in a dishwasher or with warm water and dish soap. Contact the company or agency handling your monitoring if you need additional breath tubes. Can my device get wet?
The device should never be exposed to water. I wear glasses. Do I need to take them off when I test? Consistency is what matters. If you took your enrollment test wearing glasses you should wear them every time you take a test. If you did not wear glasses in your first test, then take them off every time. Does facial hair impact my test photos? It can. Extreme cases of facial hair growth or removal may prevent the device from automatically matching your test and enrollment photos, which will cause a message to be sent to your officer.
If a change in your appearance is making it difficult for the device to match your photos, your officer may require you to take a new enrollment photo during an office visit. It can be set to between 2 and 60 minutes. Your supervising agent will tell you what settings are used for your program. Is there another way to be reminded in case my device is not close to me when I need to test? You can ask your officer to set up a courtesy text message reminder to be sent to your mobile phone.
How does Remote Breath send my test results to my agent? The device automatically sends test results via a cellular network. Test results can also be sent using an Ethernet cord.
The data, which is plotted on a graph, is downloaded to AMS who employs a team to review and interpret the data. When a person consumes alcohol it takes a scientifically determined amount of time to reach the skin before it can be screened by the SCRAM. This time frame is known as the rate of absorption of and elimination of alcohol.
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Only the data being sent to the analyst is being interpreted. There are many household products that contain alcohol that will be detected by the SCRAM which include lotions, perfumes, hair products and cleaning products such as Lysol.
Generally, when any of these products are introduced to the SCRAM from outside the body the fuel cell will report the alcohol it detects. The presence of this alcohol is generally short lived. If the substance was continuously present for a lengthy period of time and then removed at a rate consistent of the elimination rate of ethanol from the human body, a non drinking event may be interpreted as an alcoholic consumption event.
Using SCRAM CAM
Both TicWatch and Google-branded fitness-tracking apps come installed on the watch, but neither is very good. Even with a recent revamp, Google Fit lags far behind Samsung Health. But generally, wrist-based pulse oximeters are less accurate than standalone versions you use on your finger. Google Pay is preloaded, too, so you can pay in stores with the NFC chip in your watch.
However, some developers, such as Runkeeper and Nest, have stopped making their Wear OS apps recently because of low usage. Wear OS has also done little to improve how apps work on tiny, round screens. Provide the following information: The date you were placed on probation. How long probation should last. You also have to give the judge a reason to remove the bracelet early. Decide whether you are seeking to only have the bracelet removed or if you want your probation to end early.
How to Defend a SCRAM Violation
You could argue: The bracelet is unreliable. There is some proof that SCRAM bracelets are not as effective at detecting alcohol use as some judges might believe.
You could argue that the bracelet is faulty and that it has registered false positives. You could also mention an article by Judge Dennis N.
You would have a stronger argument if you give the judge some alternatives for monitoring your alcohol consumption.
Frequently Asked Questions for SCRAM Participants
For example, you could take tests in person. You have satisfied all other conditions of your probation. For example, if you have been ordered to pay a fine and do community service, make sure you are diligently working toward completing those requirements.
Whether your probation officer agrees. If so, be sure to mention that fact.