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NEW DEVICE TO TRACK DUI OFFENDERS
RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA, June 4, 2008: A new program to monitor felony DUI offenders is set to take effect District Attorney Rod Pacheco, Chief Probation Officer Alan Crogan and Supervisor Jeff Stone jointly announced today. The device called the Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring or (SCRAM) is considered to be an effective tool for supervising those convicted of felony DUI who are granted probation as part of their sentence.
"The safety of our citizens on the streets of Riverside County is a top priority," said District Attorney Rod Pacheco. "Too many lives have been lost to drunk drivers," he added. "We appreciate the support of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors and the collaboration with the Riverside County Probation Department on this new program," Pacheco said.
Chief Crogan noted that, "This joint effort with the District Attorney will provide the criminal justice system with an advanced technology tool to monitor drunk drivers and increase probation supervision."
Effective May 1, the court could order the use of the SCRAM alcohol monitoring device for 120 days as a term of probation at the time of sentencing for those convicted of felony DUI, felony DUI with injury or death, or alcohol related vehicular manslaughter. The district attorney plans to strongly urge the court to impose this on defendants who are deemed eligible for the program.
The device is an ankle bracelet that provides 24-hour monitoring of alcohol concentration through the skin. Detection can begin approximately 30 minutes after alcohol has been consumed and measures blood alcohol level at .02 and above. The unit collects, stores, and transmits the participant's alcohol level for a period of 120 days. It can also detect whether or not the device has been tampered with.
Leaders in Community Alternatives, Inc. (LCA) in Riverside has been contracted to manage the use of the device called the Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring (SCRAM). Such programs are already in use in 35 states and more than 600 courts and agencies throughout the country. Southern California counties including Orange, San Diego and now Riverside plan to implement SCRAM into their alcohol offender management programs. LCA will work closely with the Riverside County Probation Department to ensure that monitoring of participants is strictly enforced.
The program is the brainchild of Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone who originally proposed a resolution calling for a multi-agency approach to reducing injuries and deaths associated with driving under the influence. The resolution calls for agencies to work together to educate, prosecute, and monitor anyone convicted of driving under the influence. The Riverside County Board of Supervisors adopted the resolution and this new alcohol monitoring device program was launched as a result.
"This device will comprehensively monitor those convicted of DUI from driving under the influence and risking the lives of others," said Supervisor Jeff Stone.
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