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Alcohol Monitoring Devices Following a DUI
The first thing that happens after DUI charges are brought against you is the arraignment. This is when your bond is set, and your bond will include many "pretrial release conditions." In nearly all DUI cases one of the pretrial conditions will be the non-use of any nonprescription drugs and alcohol. To confirm that you are complaint with this condition of your bond, you will be ordered to undergo some form of monitoring. If you are later convicted, your condition of bond is likely to become a condition of probation, and you will continue to be monitored throughout your probationary period.Types of Alcohol Monitoring
Different courts utilize different kinds of alcohol and drug monitoring. In many cases you will be ordered to test randomly. Often a color system will be used, and you will be assigned a color and ordered to test under that color. Each morning you will call a number or check online to see what the color of the day is and if your number comes up, you are required to test that day. This can be the least expensive, but also the most inconvenient, way to be monitored.Portable Breath Testing
In some instances, your lawyer may be able to persuade the court to allow you to utilize a portable breath test unit. There are many different brands, the most common of which are the Smart Mobile and Soberlink PBT devices. With each of these devices you will pay a monthly fee to the monitoring agency. The device has an embedded camera, and an image will be taken of you as you blow into the device. The results are then reported back to the court. Usually you will be given a set testing schedule, such as twice daily between 7:00 a.m – 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. Thus, while you are testing more frequently than with random testing, you can test in the privacy of your own home. They are also portable, and can be used nationally and internationally, making them a good choice for travelers.Continuous Alcohol Detecting Devices
Another type of testing sometimes utilized is a SCRAM tether. While there are several different alcohol-detecting anklets and bracelets on the market, one of the most popular is the SCRAM, which stands for "secure continuous remote alcohol monitoring." SCRAM, much like Kleenex, is a brand name.
The SCRAM device, like other similar alcohol-monitoring devices, works by detecting the presence of alcohol through a person's perspiration. Because alcohol is hydrophilic (water-friendly), it travels everywhere that water goes in your body, including your sweat. This means that if you have been drinking, alcohol will be present in your perspiration. As the perspiration migrates to the outside of your body, it will appear on top of your skin, which is being monitored by the device.Benefits of the SCRAM Device
Although the SCRAM and other similar devices are not typically the first choice for alcohol monitoring, some Michigan courts will order it as a condition of bond and/or probation under certain circumstances. For instance, the SCRAM device can be used to monitor alcohol use if a person has to travel out of state or even out of the country for work.Penalties for Alcohol Use or Tampering with the Device
If you have been ordered to wear a SCRAM or other alcohol-monitoring device, a positive alcohol screening or an attempt to remove or otherwise tamper with the device will be considered a violation of your bond. The penalties for violating bond can include jail time. If you similarly violate your probation, then penalties can range from increasing overall length of probation to heightened probation conditions and even jail time.