Illinois courts now have more latitude when deciding on the appropriate punishment following DUI convictions. One of the typical requirements for convicted drunk drivers has been having an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in their vehicle as a form of monitoring alcohol use. However, judges now have the option of a more stringent form of alcohol usage monitoring by administering a SCRAM bracelet requirement for some individuals who are released under certain conditions. This not only applies to those being prosecuted but also to those being ordered on probation, parole, or being released early from incarceration.

What are SCRAM bracelets?

SCRAM bracelets are particularly effective for those with multiple DUI convictions or if an individual is ordered to refrain from any alcohol use of any type. This is typical for individuals on probation or parole. The evolving court policy of reduced incarceration or early release involving DUI cases has clearly been supported by this technology that measures the amount of alcohol in the wearer’s system at all times. Some defendants actually opt for the ankle bracelet as opposed to an IID as a component of a DUI plea bargain.

Potential disadvantages

A primary drawback to the technology is that the offender typically pays for administration of the bracelet, and they can be very expensive over time when being placed on parole or probation for an extended period. Total restriction from alcohol is common for parolees or probationers, and individuals who have alcohol detected by the device can have their parole or probation revoked. In addition, those who are out on early release with a bracelet attachment can be ordered back to jail.

However, one of the best advantages of this option is that DUI attorneys now have an extra option when negotiating options for a convicted client or a client who wants to make a plea deal in an impaired driving case. It can be an excellent alternative to an ignition interlock device, and it is particularly effective for the courts when defendants do not own a vehicle and the court wants to monitor defendant alcohol usage while on release.