Updated on October 27th, 2021 at 07:22 pm

Monitoring Bracelets Impact Your Wisconsin DUI Sentencing

What is a S.C.R.A.M. Bracelet?

The SCRAM bracelet, short for Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor, is a lightweight ankle bracelet (approximately 8 ounces) designed to keep track of the wearer’s alcohol consumption through measuring his or her perspiration.  This bracelet allows for the collection of your perspiration to be gathered and analyzed to test your alcohol consumption.

The Bracelet includes the same fuel cell found in portable breath testing devices. The fuel cell reacts with ethanol in order to measure for the presence of alcohol. So instead of breathing into the system, the SCRAM Bracelet takes in a sample of the perspiration in order to test for the presence of alcohol.

Image of man wearing a scram bracelet in Appleton, Wisconsin

Tamper Resistant

The SCRAM bracelet is virtually tamper-proof.  It was designed with a built-in security screw and a tamperproof clasp to alert officials of attempts to defeat the system.  Temperature sensors and an Infrared sensor are other security measures which ensure the bracelet is being used properly.


The main drawback is that the bracelet is NOT waterproof.  If it is submerged in water, an alarm will be triggered to the monitoring officials as an attempt to defeat the system.  Showers are the only permitted form of bathing.  Absolutely no swimming allowed.

Given the sensitivity of the bracelet for collecting your perspiration, individuals are instructed against using alcohol of any kind — including beverages, mouthwash, colognes and perfumes, certain types of lotion and other similar products containing alcohol.

Why do I have to wear one?

SCRAM programs are being used to support treatment and to enhance supervision for:

  • First-time, underage and multiple-time drunk driving offenders.
  • Domestic violence offenders when alcohol is considered to be a contributing factor.
  • Family court, either to enforce a parent’s sobriety or to assess a parent for their level of alcohol problem. Often SCRAM monitoring is required as a condition of custody or visitation.
  • Underage drinking offenders, as a method to assess and deter drinkers under the age of 21 from re-offending.
  • Drug Court offenders, who often turn to alcohol as their drug of choice once they are being actively tested for drugs.

Who Monitors SCRAM Results?

The readings are sent to a remote computer that acts as a central clearing house of data where it is monitored and interpreted. The data for each specific offender is then available to the home state’s monitoring agency through a secure Internet Web site.

What happens if you are caught drinking and receive a positive test result?

Scram test results are uploaded daily on a 24 hour basis.  If any displayed result has a confirmed violation, immediate notification will occur.  This may be done via email, text, phone or facsimile. Oftentimes, absolute sobriety is a condition of bond. If you violate this condition it will have serious consequences during sentencing. If you have more questions be sure to contact one of our Appleton DUI lawyers for help!

Can I wear a SCRAM Bracelet voluntarily?

Wearing a SCRAM Bracelet voluntarily may have a significant impact on your sentencing. However, deciding whether or not to wear a SCRAM Bracelet is an intensely personal decision. If you can remain 100% sober it can drastically reduce any potential jail time. Conversely, if you are found in violation it can have an equally drastic negative impact on your potential sentencing.

How long do I have to wear it?

Each offender’s case is individually decided upon by the court in which they were sentenced.  Although sentences have ranged from 2 weeks to 10 years given the serious nature of the conviction, an average of a 90 day sentence is considered a reasonable term for compliance.

How much does it cost?

The fees are usually the responsibility of the offender.  There is an initial installation fee which can range from $50-$100.  The monitoring fees can vary depending on a few factors such as, location, availability of service provider, wage of offender, period of time in program and other court-related fees and costs.  ($10-$12 per day is the national average cost for Alcohol Monitoring Only.)

If you have questions regarding wearing a SCRAM Bracelet and the impact it may have on your Drunk Driving case please contact Attorney Nathan J. Dineen at Vanden Heuvel & Dineen, S.C.