Comparative Study and Evaluation of SCRAM Use, Recidivism Rates, and Characteristics [Traffic Tech]
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Comparative Study and Evaluation of SCRAM Use, Recidivism Rates, and Characteristics [Traffic Tech]

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      Impaired driving continues to cause hundreds of thousands of alcohol-related crashes each year, many resulting in serious injury or death. Many offenders are repeat offenders despite sanctions and court processes that attempt to dissuade offenders from reoffending. A continuous alcohol monitoring (CAM) device may have a role to play when a repeat offender is court-ordered to maintain a state of sobriety. A CAM device typically consists of an ankle bracelet that conducts alcohol readings by sampling perspiration on the skin. Secure continuous remote alcohol monitoring (SCRAM) refers to a device commercially available from Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. (AMS). While there are other CAM devices, SCRAM is currently the most widely used. Data from more than 3,000 drinking-and-driving offenders in Wisconsin and Nevada were explored to evaluate the impact of SCRAM on rates and speed of recidivism. Some similarities were apparent between the two States. Offenders using SCRAM showed higher percentages of recidivism than the control offenders in both States, though the difference was not statistically significant. Despite the higher percentage of recidivism in SCRAM offenders, recidivists using SCRAM tended to take more days to recidivate than the comparison group recidivists. This was true in both States. The two States also differ in the criteria used for assignment to SCRAM and it may be worth revisiting those conditions. Despite differences in the administration of the SCRAM program, both States showed that SCRAM can have a positive impact, if not regarding the occurrence of recidivism, at least regarding the number of days to recidivate.
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