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Alcohol Monitoring Devices

In our digital age, alcohol monitoring is more technologically advanced than ever before. With alcohol monitoring devices such as an ignition interlock, SCRAM device, or portable alcohol monitor, law enforcement can now keep track of individuals who are facing DWI accusations. Gadgets such as these monitor repeat DUI offenders such as second-time DWI and third-time DWI offenders who have been ordered by the court to avoid alcohol as part of their sentence.

If you have questions regarding alcohol monitoring devices and if one needs to be installed on your vehicle after an arrest, do not hesitate to reach out to a competent Travis County DWI defense attorney for assistance.

Texas Alcohol Monitoring Devices Lawyer

If you have been arrested for DWI and are now required to wear an alcohol monitoring device such as an ignition interlock, SCRAM device, or portable alcohol monitor, The Law Office of Kevin Bennett is here to help. Travis County defense lawyer Kevin Bennett at The Law Office of Kevin Bennett can investigate every angle of your case to create a strong defense and determine what might be the best course of action for you.

To discuss the specifics of your situation, call (512) 476-4626 to arrange a free consultation with The Law Office of Kevin Bennett today. Kevin Bennett represents clients throughout Austin and Taylor County, TX. He also represents clients in the surrounding counties including Mitchell County, Nolan County, Shackelford County, Jones County, Callahan County, Coleman County, and Runnels County.

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Information Center

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What Is An Ignition Interlock Device?

An ignition interlock device (IID) is a device that prevents a driver from starting a motor vehicle if they have been drinking. The IID requires the potential driver to provide a breath sample before the vehicle starts. The driver can provide this sample by blowing into a hand-held device near the driver’s seat. Once the device detects that the driver has not been drinking, the car will start. Conversely, if the driver has been drinking and the IID detects alcohol, the vehicle will not start.

The IID will also ask the driver for random breath samples while the vehicle operates. If alcohol is detected, the vehicle will require the driver to stop.

Is The Information Reported To The Court?

All the breath samples required for the driver are provided to the Court. If the driver is found to have tried to operate the vehicle and was denied by the IID, the Court may impose additional fines or penalties on the driver.

It is also important to note that the IID has a camera attached. These images are also provided to the Court. If another is found to have given the breath samples instead of the driver, then there may be additional penalties.

When Does The IID Work?

The IID provides opportunities not normally in place for individuals convicted of a DWI for the first time with a BAC of less than .15. In this instance, they can elect to install an IID in their vehicle and continue to operate the vehicle. If an individual has a BAC of higher than .15 or it is not their first conviction, they may not be able to opt to use an IID.

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SCRAM Device

When an individual is arrested and convicted of a DWI in Texas, the judge may order them to wear a SCRAM device. This device functions to measure the BAC of the individual daily.

What Is A SCRAM Device?

A SCRAM device is a Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor. The device attaches to an individual’s ankle and has a sensor that will detect the presence of alcohol. The sensor works to detect the presence of alcohol in the sweat from the individual’s skin. Then once the device completes its readings, the results are sent to the Court and other enforcement officials. Depending on the amount of alcohol the device registered and the location and frequency of the alcohol consumption, additional penalties may be imposed for the individual wearing the SCRAM device.

Is A SCRAM Device Reliable?

Many people worry about the reliability of a SCRAM device and the number of false positives that some people experience. Since the device only detects alcohol, it may detect other types of alcohol besides the types people regularly consume. Alcohol is found in beauty products and cleaning solutions. If the individual wearing the SCRAM device is around an increased amount of beauty products or cleaning solutions, a false positive may be triggered through the device. However, the probation officers and Texas court systems generally treat the information provided by the SCRAM as reliable.

When Does A SCRAM Need To Be Worn?

A SCRAM is generally worn when an individual is arrested for a DWI that is not their first offense. The judge typically orders convicted individuals to wear the SCRAM for anywhere from one month to one year. The test results are then used to help prevent the individual from committing more alcohol-related crimes in the future.

A judge may also order the device to be worn as a condition for pretrial release. This can help the criminal justice system free-up room in jails and prisons until the accused person’s trial date approaches.

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Portable Alcohol Monitor

A portable alcohol monitor or PAM is another device option that can be used to track an individual’s alcohol consumption. This device may be court-ordered or used voluntarily to show the court that the individual can abstain from drinking for a certain period to achieve a more favorable plea deal.

What Is A Portable Alcohol Monitor?

A portable alcohol monitor is a device that monitors the amount of alcohol in an individual’s system. The device requires that the individual blow into the device at certain times throughout the day. The intervals are typically between 5 a.m. – 7 a.m., Noon – 2 p.m., 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., and 10 p.m. – Midnight. These devices require the individual to know and remember to blow into the device during these times. If the individual fails to do so, the court will likely be suspicious and assume the individual was drinking.

How Does The Court Know?

As breath is logged, the device returns information to the Court, reporting the time of the blow and the amount of alcohol in the person’s system. This information can then be used by the Court to determine if the individual has been drinking or missed a test. For a missed test, the Court may assume the intent was to wait for the individual’s BAC to return to lower so the test would read negative.

Is It Accurate?

Many people will argue that the PAM is more accurate than the SCRAM, but there are still ways that a false positive may appear on the device. For example, many individuals have found that things like mouthwash have registered a false positive on the PAM device. Depending on the reasons for wearing a PAM, the individual will want to discuss their habits with an attorney further to determine if they should change while wearing the PAM. Typically, the PAM will need to be calibrated by a manufacturer about once a month to ensure its accuracy.

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Additional Resources

Ignition Interlock Device | Texas Department of Public Safety– The Texas Department of Public Safety provides additional resources on how an ignition interlock device works.

SCRAM FAQs | SCRAM Systems – An informational FAQ answered by the creators of the SCRAM systems.

Alcohol Monitoring Supervision | Dallas County – Information about when an alcohol monitoring system may be used in a court case and how it may be able to help an accused individual.

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Austin Alcohol Monitoring Devices Lawyer | Travis County, TX

If you are facing charges that could include the wearing of an alcohol monitoring device such as an ignition interlock, SCRAM device, or portable alcohol monitor, consult with an experienced DWI defense attorney such as Kevin Bennett at The Law Office of Kevin Bennett. Austin criminal defense lawyer Attorney Bennett understands the alcohol monitoring technology and can challenge the courts with evidence.

No matter the DWI charge, he provides thorough defense and personalized attention to each and every case. Call (512) 476-4626 to schedule a free consultation with attorney Bennett today.

The Law Office of Kevin Bennett accepts cases in Austin and surrounding areas such as Pflugerville, Lago Vista, Lakeway, West Lake Hills, Bee Cave, and Sunset Valley.

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