Remote Breath Alcohol Monitoring

The Massachusetts Probation Service relies on remote alcohol equipment to monitor alcohol use by OUI probationers more effectively. The SCRAM (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring) remote breath device uses innovative facial recognition software to identify the probationers, so they always know exactly who uses the device. The facial recognition reduces the incidences of fraud substantially.

How SCRAM Works

SCRAM monitors individuals who have been court-ordered to stay away from alcohol and abstain from drinking. The wireless unit offers high accuracy and efficient operation.

It also provides real-time access to a client’s test results and can even pinpoint their physical location within a six-foot radius.

In addition, the Automated Facial Intelligence (AFI) software photographs the person who is exhaling into the handheld device to guarantee the person who has been ordered to undertake the test is performing the breath monitor analysis.

The test then determines the person’s breath alcohol concentration (BrAC).

The Electronic Monitoring System (ELMO) oversees monitoring the breath alcohol tests in the state.

ELMO responds when someone ends up testing positive for alcohol consumption or fails to take the test.

Also, ELMO sends automated courtesy reminders to their clients using text messaging which are always sent 30-minutes before each scheduled test time.

The ELMO staff can make a courtesy call to remind clients when to use their SCRAM breath monitor to take their test.

How Often Do You Use SCRAM?

Usually, the court will order individuals to test for alcohol use several times per day using the SCRAM remote breath device. The daily testing schedules are created by court orders which are later developed and monitored by probation officers (POs).

In most cases, the schedule remains ever-changing to keep the probationer on their toes and reduce the likelihood of cheating.

SCRAM devices are also set up to carry out random or on-demand testing when the individual least expects it to occur.

If it looks like an on-demand test will happen, then the ELMO Center sends out the one-time request via text message to the probationer.

It directs that individual to start the test within 20 minutes of receiving the message. If they fail to respond or decide not to take the test, then the SCRAM remote breath device powers on remotely and quickly prompts the individual to start testing.

What Happens If You Ignore SCRAM?

If an individual fails to take the test when instructed or tests positive because they have used alcohol, then an alert quickly notifies the ELMO Center.

A warrant is issued that applies to the GPS monitoring, Basically the warrant shows that the person has violated the remote breath alcohol monitoring system.

SCRAM Replaces the Sobrietor

In the state of Massachusetts, there are around 430 SCRAM devices, and the number is forecast to increase.

The SCRAM remote breath monitor was utilized to replace the Sobrietor which boasted voice recognition software and functioned via a telephone line.

However, nowadays with most people using a cellphone, very few individuals even have telephone lines any longer which makes the Sobrietor obsolete, so the SCRAM has become immensely popular.

“The new technology offers a cellular solution as well as a more secure and efficient identity management system,” said Daniel Pires, Statewide Manager of Electronic Monitoring.

Abnormalities in the SCRAM Breath Alcohol Monitoring Test

When the SCRAM monitor detects any sort of abnormality, then the device will automatically ask you to retest.

IMPORTANT: The SCRAM device will never tell you if you failed the test or if you passed.

However, in some cases, it will quickly instruct you to retake the test which can indicate a problem.

Ideally, you need to make sure that you follow all proper testing procedures to ensure that you pass the test and no abnormalities confuse the system.

Never consume anything but water right before taking a test or it could also act up and cause you to fail. Even using mouthwash prior to testing could raise a red flag and the system will instruct you to retake the test and an alert goes out to ELMO.

Criminal Defense Attorney Gregory Oberhauser

If the court has instructed you to use a breath alcohol monitoring device but you fail the test or the device malfunctions, then call our office to schedule a consultation with Attorney Oberhauser. He has experience fighting unjust violations due to the failure of monitoring devices.

Call Today 978-452-1116


Attorney Gregory Oberhauser

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Gregory Oberhauser is the ONLY attorney in Massachusetts to be distinguished as an ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist by the American Chemical Society!

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