Almost all DWI offenders convicted of impaired driving are ordered to abstain from consuming alcohol as a condition of sentencing or probation. In 2006, the New York 8th Judicial District Hybrid DWI Court began using a high-tech, transdermal alcohol monitoring program in DWI cases. Prior to using the new program, the 8th Judicial District used random testing for alcohol consumption by offenders and that procedure proved inadequate in DWI cases. Under the old procedure, DWI offenders weren’t allowed in drug courts because the courts didn’t have a reliable mechanism for testing for alcohol. The transdermal apparatus, Scramx transdermal system, is manufactured by Alcohol Monitoring Systems.
The transdermal monitoring system continuously monitors indicators of alcohol use, tracks an offender’s exact location and delivers this information to public safety officials in real-time. The system uses GPS location-based monitoring technology and continuous alcohol detection capabilities. Alcohol and GPS alerts occur instantly via Bluetooth and cellular-based technology, allowing public safety officials to respond quickly to violations by DWI offenders. The transdermal monitoring system works by distinguishing episodes and severity of alcohol consumption of DWI offenders on a continuous and ongoing basis through comparison to a sober baseline established at enrollment in the system.
One of the main features of this system is its ability to verify a DWI offender’s compliance with court orders for alcohol abstinence over a given period. Transdermal alcohol monitoring generally includes an anklet, worn seven days a week for twenty-four hours a day that tests for the presence of alcohol every 30 minutes by sampling the insensible perspiration constantly given off by the skin of the offender. The tamperproof bracelet monitors and measures ethanol gas emitted through the skin of the DWI offender on a continuous basis using a test chamber where ethanol molecules released from the skin accumulate. Measurements taken from the chamber are stored in the bracelet and simultaneously transmitted to monitoring center computers via a GPS cell phone.
One of the drawbacks of transdermal alcohol monitoring is that it cannot determine exact blood alcohol concentration levels. However, the system can accurately detect whether a DWI offender has drank a small amount, a moderate amount, or a large quantity of alcohol. DWI offenders have found that the transdermal alcohol monitoring system is beneficial to them in that it allows them the freedom to maintain work and family schedules and also acts as a deterrent to their alcohol use. Transdermal alcohol monitoring is primarily intended to deter offenders from violating the terms of court-ordered abstinence through the on-going monitoring of alcohol consumption. When a DWI offender is found to be in non-compliance with a court ordered abstinence program and drinking events of the offender are detected, the appropriate service agency is promptly notified to allow for a swift and certain response. This helps in preventing continued or future drinking events by DWI offenders. Transdermal alcohol also aids the court system in the rehabilitation of DWI offenders by providing constant monitoring of alcohol. This allows courts to have a reliable assessment of offender compliance with, and progress in, alcohol treatment, as opposed to being forced to rely on self-reports from the offender.
The law firm of Nave DWI Defense Attorneys understands the field of DWI law in New York. If you seek counsel and guidance from a law firm staffed by DWI experts, the law firm of Nave DWI Defense Attorneys can help you by responding to your concerns and answering your questions about your DWI case.
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