September 17th, 2009
A SCRAM device is an electronic ankle bracelet that is designed to detect whether a person has been drinking alcohol by measuring alcohol through the person’s skin. This is called a measurement of transdermal alcohol concentration. SCRAM is short for Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring. In Washington State, some judges require a person accused of DUI to wear a SCRAM bracelet pending trial of the DUI case. Use of the SCRAM device in DUI cases is controversial and the technology has not met with universal judicial acceptance. No appellate court has ruled upon the scientific acceptability of the SCRAM device in a case involving a Washington State DUI arrest, however, the device recently received judicial approval from the Supreme Court of the State of South Dakota in the DUI case of State v. Lemler, a DUI opinion filed on September 16, 2009. Although the South Dakota Supreme Court’s ruling binds that state, attorneys representing persons arrested for DUI in Washington State remain free to challenge whether the SCRAM device has met with enough “scientific acceptance” to warrant across the board approval of SCRAM use when appropriate in a DUI charge arising from a Washington State DUI arrest.
The attorneys at Fox Bowman Duarte are familiar with SCRAM technology and the issues raised by SCRAM arising from a Washington State DUI arrest.