The court system in California can hand down a number of penalties during sentencing for driving under the influence (DUI). Often, drivers convicted of a DUI will face fines and jail time. In some circumstances, they may also be ordered to wear a SCRAM (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor) device.
So, why are SCRAM devices sometimes used in California DUI conviction sentencing? Find out when and why California courts order SCRAM usage with the professionals at the Simmrin Law Group. You can call us at (310) 896-2723 to get additional information about DUI charges in California.
The Reason for SCRAM Device Usage in California
SCRAM devices monitor an individual’s alcohol intake by assessing the amount of alcohol excreted through a person’s skin. These devices are used to make sure an individual does not drink any alcohol after a DUI conviction.
The court system in California may order a driver to wear a SCRAM device after a DUI conviction, especially if the driver:
- Has multiple previous DUIs
- Has noted issues with alcoholism
- Has not been able to complete alcohol treatment in the past
However, the court has the right to order any driver convicted of a DUI to wear a SCRAM device. In the majority of cases, only drivers with multiple previous DUIs will be required to use a SCRAM device in California.
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The Operation of a SCRAM Device in California
SCRAM devices attach to an individual’s ankle. They are worn around-the-clock and cannot be legally removed after the court orders them to be used. Contact with an individual’s skin allows the SCRAM device to assess any changes in the wearer’s blood alcohol content (BAC).
Generally, the SCRAM device will test a wearer’s BAC every 30 minutes in California. The system will then send a report to its monitoring agency on a set schedule. In most cases, reports are sent on a daily basis, but they can be sent more frequently in some situations.
Note that individuals in California are only required to wear a SCRAM device if they are not permitted to drink at all. Usually, this requirement is part of their DUI probation. This means that any failure on a SCRAM test can be considered a probation violation in California. You can call (310) 896-2723 to speak to a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles if you are accused of a probation violation.
SCRAM vs. SCRAMx Devices in California
Thus far in this article, we have discussed SCRAM devices. Some individuals in California may be ordered to wear a SCRAMx device, instead. SCRAMx devices also measure a user’s BAC. However, they also take care of house arrest monitoring in California. SCRAMx devices can:
- Assess BAC levels
- Generate reports if someone violates their house arrest
Users must wear both SCRAM and SCRAMx devices 24 hours a day. Users cannot legally remove a SCRAM or SCRAMx device without the approval of the court. Note that SCRAM and SCRAMx devices can be worn in the shower, but not the bath.
Time Period for SCRAM Usage After a DUI
Drivers who are ordered to use a SCRAM device after a DUI conviction may be required to wear the device for a lengthy period of time. Most users have to wear the SCRAM device for at least 30 days. The usage period can last over a year in some situations.
The court reserves the right to determine how long a user must wear a SCRAM device. Generally, judges will take the following factors into consideration when assigning SCRAM usage:
- The user’s past DUI history
- The severity of the user’s alcohol dependency
- The severity of the user’s current DUI charge
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The Cost for SCRAM Devices in California
The court does not generally pay for SCRAM usage after a DUI conviction. Instead, the user will be expected to pay for their device. Costs for a SCRAM device can include:
- The initial cost to put the device on
- Daily monitoring fees
Generally, users who are required to wear a SCRAMx device will face higher charges. However, both SCRAM and SCRAMx devices can become expensive in the long run.
Get Help Handling California DUI Conviction Sentencing
A SCRAM device may be used in California DUI conviction sentencing if the court does not want a driver to drink at all. These devices can be very restrictive. You may be able to avoid orders to wear a SCRAM device if you get help immediately after your arrest from the Simmrin Law Group. Find out if we can help by contacting us for a FREE case evaluation.
Call (310) 896-2723 or complete our online contact form to talk to a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles about your legal defense.