OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A bracelet that senses when its wearer consumes alcohol is being used more by courts in cases.
Oklahoma City attorney Bob Carpenter said the Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor, or SCRAM, “is the coming thing and that he's had several clients opt for wearing the ankle bracelet in an attempt to avoid jail time.
The bracelet's manufacturer, Alcohol Monitoring Systems, said that, as of the end of March, the eight-ounce bracelets - worn 24 hours a day - had been used to monitor 420 people in Oklahoma.
“If you take a sip of alcohol, it will sense it, Carpenter said. “I've seen it work.
The manufacturer's regional manager, Terry Fain, said the bracelet samples perspirationat least once an hour for traces of ethanol that are released through the skin.
A company monitoring center analyzes the results and sends them - typically by the next morning - to the agencies overseeing offenders wearing the bracelet, he said.
Offenders pay about $10 a day to wear the bracelet.
“It's coerced sobriety, Fain said.
Fain said the bracelet is more effective than previous methods of monitoring alcohol-related offenders, such as surprise urine or breath tests.
“It's extremely difficult to monitor alcohol consumption because of how quickly it leaves the body, he said.
Brian Hendrix, the executive director of Payne County Drug Court Inc. - a private nonprofit agency that contracts with the monitoring company - said that if any of the 35 people under his supervisor drink alcohol, he finds out about it because of the bracelet.
“This is really the best tool we have at our disposal, Hendrix said. “It's good technology. I was kind of happy to see it come along.