Ankle or Sweat Monitors - When Are They Court Ordered?

Courts may order an ankle or sweat monitor when there is a need to keep a person on probation but not incarcerated for the crime he or she commits in a town or city. Typically, these are for alcohol or drug-related crimes and monitor the person within a certain perimeter which will contact the local law enforcement when the accused breached that perimeter.

Alcohol Offenses

When a person commits a crime while intoxicated, he or she can face a conviction and penalties through a SCRAM or secure continuous remote alcohol monitoring device. These usually hook up to the ankle like a bracelet and will detect and then report alcohol consumption the person wearing it engages in during the process. The courts generally order the defendant to wear one when he or she faces an arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol or another alcohol-related violation of the law. While many courts will order the use after conviction, some may do so during the court process to determine how much the defendant consumes.

Requiring the SCRAM Device

Some courts will order a SCRAM device when the judge wants to prohibit alcohol consumption with the defendant in an alcohol-related offense. This is normally a pre-trial process, but some judges will use this as a penalty for a conviction. The device gives the courts an easier way to continuously monitor the defendant when he or she does not remain in jail for the trial case. This removes the need to have supervisors or probation officers home test the individual. The SCRAM device can also cut out various costs and increase efficiency with someone committing a DUI or to monitor someone suspected of doing so in the state.

The Pretrial Use

When a judge feels that the person accused of consuming alcohol and committing a crime needs to undergo a process to determine truth, the SCRAM device is generally in use. This occurs before the trial progresses further. Similarly, the courts may use a sweat monitor to provide more accurate results of how much alcohol exists in the person’s body. These are less difficult to use in some instances because they are normally a patch placed on the person’s skin.

If the judge wants to monitor the amount of blood alcohol before the trial proceeds, the sweat monitor can help explain what the defendant usually does during a given week or month. However, this frequently is only in use in the pretrial process when the judge feels the defendant is a high-risk offender.

Post-Conviction Use

As a condition of probation, the courts may require the person to wear a SCRAM bracelet or anklet rather than a sweat monitor because it is important to track alcohol consumption when the person should avoid such activities while still under probation. This usually occurs after a DUI conviction where the person is a participant in sobriety programs and is receiving counseling or therapy to avoid drinking and committing similar crimes. Similarly, with the pretrial process, these anklets or bracelets are in use for those high-risk offenders where the DUI is the second or subsequent conviction.

The DUI Conviction

Generally, the ankle, bracelet or sweat monitor device will become a requirement for someone with a conviction for DUI in certain states. The judge will want to review the alcohol consumption of the individual and ensure he or she is not a danger in the future. The monitor device will report the findings to law enforcement and may even limit the actions and location of the person such as house arrest. These penalties may occur with multiple DUI offenders or someone that committed a particularly egregious crime involving alcohol such as serious injury or the death of another person.

Detection of Alcohol

The SCRAM device or sweat monitor will report the alcohol consumption through either sweat or alcohol that comes out of the pores. There is a fuel cell that has a sensor that will measure the concentration of the alcohol through samples of vapor perspiration throughout regular intervals to review this blood alcohol level in the sweat. Skin-level measurements will determine the concentration in percentage.

Legal Support for Court Orders

When a person needs to wear a SCRAM device or a sweat monitor, he or she will need a lawyer to help with the process, to assist in preventing violations and to increase the likelihood of success. The lawyer may need to protect the person who did not already receive a conviction.

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Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws they may affect a case.

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