DUI: Ankle Bracelets

Question: I saw online that some people have to wear an ankle bracelet if they get a DUI. Well I got another drunk driving charge and I want to learn what I can about the ankle bracelet.

Basically I was driving in Cumming and I got stopped for speeding. The cop said I was like 40 miles over the speed limit. I did a bunch of his DUI tests on the side of the road and then I took a breath test at the jail. I blew a high number on the breath test, so I wasn't just buzzed.

The big problem is that it's not my first DUI. It's my fourth drunk driving charge. I have three convictions already. They were all in other states. They were not in Georgia.

Please tell me about the ankle bracelet and how it works.

E.P. in Forsyth County, GA

Answer: Ankle bracelets measure the amount of alcohol that is perspired by a person. The alcohol is measured “transdermally,” that is as it passes through the skin. The idea of measuring perspiration for alcohol goes back many decades, and there are a number of studies that have shown there is a good correlation between perspiration alcohol and blood alcohol.

A common device is known as “SCRAM” (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor). There are similar devices in use and they all utilize about the same technology.

The devices are small enough to be worn underneath clothing.

They are commonly used by courts to monitor an offender's use of alcohol when such ingestion is prohibited as a bond condition or a condition of probation.

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