If you have been charged with DUI in Orange County, you may have some questions that you want answered about what punishments you may be facing. One of the punishments is called a SCRAM bracelet. The SCRAM bracelet is a bracelet worn on one’s ankle that assesses and documents your Blood Alcohol Concentration.

SCRAM is an acronym for Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor. SCRAM is composed of a tamper resistant bracelet that is secured around an individual’s ankle that reads the sweat of the individual, in order to detect the presence of alcohol on an hourly basis. The SCRAM device then transmits the hourly recordings once a day to a monitoring center. The court can impose this device as a part of your DUI punishment.

The SCRAM device works using a transdermal alcohol testing method. When a person consumes alcohol, it is absorbed through the individual’s bloodstream and leaves the body through the individual’s breath, urine, sweat, or saliva. Research indicates that the process of insensible perspiration releases 1% of alcohol consumed. This means that an indiscernible ethanol vapor is emitted through the skin. The SCRAM device can detect this small trace of alcohol and send this information to the monitoring center.

A judge may decide that a defendant who is considered a risk to the public due to their criminal history should be required to wear a SCRAM device. In DUI cases in Southern California, a judge will require the offender to wear a SCRAM device if it is believed that the individual has a severe alcohol dependency, as well as a prior DUI. The court may require that an individual wear the device for anywhere between 30 days to one year. The time period an individual is required to wear the SCRAM device depends on the seriousness of your present DUI case, prior DUI history, and if you display a history of alcohol abuse.

The expenses associated with the SCRAM device are usually placed upon the offender, but the court may assume some of the costs if the offender is unable to cover the expenses.

The SCRAM device’s tamper-resistant design makes it difficult to remove the bracelet, but it is not impossible. However, if anyone attempts to remove or tamper with the device, it will result in the monitoring center being alerted.

Contact the Orange County DUI Attorney Law Firm at 949-377-2280 to schedule your FREE DUI consultation.

California DUIs

Unfortunately, a DUI is a common offense in California. Many individuals have either been a DUI offender themselves or have a friend or family member who has been involved in a DUI incident. As you may already know, penalties for any DUI, even if it is a first offense, can be serious. The information provided in this article will discuss an overview of the DUI process, and the punishments associated with a DUI conviction. It will focus on a specific punishment: the SCRAM bracelet.

Being convicted of a DUI can have a significant lasting impact on your personal and professional life. A DUI conviction will affect all aspects of your life, such as the ability to drive, work, and it will take up a significant amount of your time, and will cost you a considerable amount of money. Also, a DUI conviction will remain on your criminal history for a significant amount of time. Future employers will be able to see this conviction as a result of any background check they may perform. A DUI conviction on your criminal record could also affect your ability to rent property in various areas. Moreover, a DUI can prevent you from working in specific industries altogether. Primarily, you will be prevented from working in the industries that require you to have a valid license.

A DUI case leaves you susceptible to have your license suspended in two ways. First, the California DMV can suspend your driver’s license during a DMV hearing. The other way is where your license is suspended after you are convicted of DUI during the criminal process of your DUI. Unfortunately, Southern California does not have a very extensive public transportation system and can make getting around without the ability to drive quite burdensome.

In addition to the loss of your driving privileges, the expenses associated with a DUI can be overwhelming, and finding a competent and affordable attorney can be challenging. At the Orange County DUI Attorney Law Firm, we dedicate ourselves to offering our clients the best legal services, at an affordable price. Our defense attorneys have nearly three decades of experience defending clients in DUI cases, and will represent you aggressively and competently to help obtain the most favorable outcome for your case. If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI, call the Orange County DUI Attorney Law Firm for your FREE DUI consultation.

Driving Under The Influence – California Vehicle Code Section 23152

Similar to any other crime, the prosecutor bears the burden of proving each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. The elements required to convict an individual of a DUI are:

  1. You were physically controlling the motor vehicle; and
  2. You were under the influence of drugs and/ or alcohol, as shown by:
    1. You had a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher;
    2. Your ability to drive was impaired due to drugs or alcohol.

Since the prosecutor bears the burden of proving these elements beyond a reasonable doubt, hiring an experienced attorney will give you the ability to have someone standing by your side, as well as arguing various defenses on your behalf.

The DUI Process

Almost every DUI case starts with an initial traffic stop (the others begin with an accident). If you were stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence, it is likely that you will be asked to take a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) breath test. Depending on what the PAS results are, you may then be arrested for DUI. After you are arrested, the law enforcement officer that arrested you will then confiscate your driver’s license and issue you a pink, temporary license. This temporary license is referred to as an “Admin Pro Se” license that will expire after 30 days.

From the time you are arrested, there is a 10-day period, which includes weekends, for you to contact the DMV to request a hearing regarding your license suspension. If you do not request a DMV hearing, you will waive your right to challenge your license suspension. If you request a DMV hearing, your license suspension will be set aside until after your hearing concludes. Further, if you are successful at your DMV hearing, the suspension of your driver’s license will be set-aside until the conclusion of your criminal case.

For these reasons, we highly recommend that you consult with an experienced DUI attorney that can ensure your rights are protected during your DMV hearing. The DMV hearing will concentrate on the following 4 questions:

  1. Did law enforcement have reasonable suspicion to conduct the initial traffic stop?
  2. Did the police have probable cause to arrest you for DUI?
  3. Were you informed of the consequences you would face if you refused the breath or blood test?
  4. Did you refuse to take the breath or blood test?

The answers to the aforementioned questions will influence the administrative judge on the decision to suspend your driver’s license or not. After coming to a decision, the judge will then issue a “finding of fact.”

After your DMV hearing ends, the criminal process of your case will begin. It is important to remember that the outcome of your DMV hearing will bear no weight on the criminal process of your case. Even if the DMV suspends your license, if you prevail during the criminal process, it will allow you to challenge your DMV license suspension. Similarly, if you prevail at your DMV hearing, and lose the criminal process of your case, you will still be susceptible to having your license suspended.

Usually, people believe that most criminal cases are decided at trial. However, only a small portion of cases actually makes it to trial. For this reason, it is important to hire an attorney who is skilled at trial and pre-trial negotiations. Our attorneys have had success in negotiating favorable plea bargain deals for our clients, where the district attorneys agreed to reduce the charges against our clients, which resulted in our clients facing less severe punishments.

If your case requires you to go to trial, our chief trial attorney, Vincent Ross, has nearly three decades of experience in DUI trials. Our law firm understands how your case should be assessed and how to best argue on your behalf. If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI we highly encourage you to contact the Orange County DUI Attorney Law Firm.

DUI Punishments

If you are convicted of DUI, you can face some serious punishments. Ultimately, the judge has the discretion in how to sentence you, however, the punishments usually associated with a first offense DUI are:

  • A fine anywhere between $390 to $2,000;
  • Required completion of alcohol treatment or DUI education classes;
  • A maximum jail sentence of 48 hours; and/ or
  • Driver’s license suspension.

Although this list states the common punishments for a regular DUI, there are various aggravating factors that can result in increased punishments. As stated above, one of these punishments includes the wearing of a SCRAM bracelet.

Scram Overview

Essentially, a SCRAM bracelet is placed on the ankle and detects any amount of alcohol consumed by the individual wearing it. SCRAM is an acronym for Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor. In certain DUI cases in California, the offender will be required to wear the SCRAM bracelet as a term of his or her DUI sentence.

The SCRAM device works by detecting the defendant’s BAC by analyzing the individual’s sweat. The device conducts a BAC test every couple of hours. After each day, the report of the defendant’s BAC levels will be sent to a monitoring center.

The SCRAM device is usually required in DUI cases where the defendant is required to not consume any alcohol. In a normal DUI case, only driving under the influence will be monitored. For example, the regulation of driving under the influence by the defendant will be monitored using an ignition interlock device. What makes a SCRAM case different, is that the defendant’s consumption of alcohol is monitored at all times, whether the defendant is driving or not. For this reason, if you are required to subject to wearing a SCRAM device, it is highly encouraged that you do not consume any amount of alcohol for the entire time you are required to wear the SCRAM device.

The requirement of wearing a SCRAM bracelet is a highly intrusive punishment. For this reason, SCRAM bracelets are only required in cases where the defendant has a criminal history, as well as posing a risk to the general public. Also, the device may be required in cases where the defendant has previous DUIs, as well as exhibiting signs of alcohol dependency. Depending on the case, a defendant will be required to wear a SCRAM device anywhere from 30 days to 1 year.

People usually ask who pays for the SCRAM device. Unfortunately, it is the defendant who assumes the expenses for the SCRAM device. The device usually costs $100 for installation, on top of additional charges for maintenance.

It may seem like there is nothing positive about the SCRAM bracelet. There are some cases where it can be beneficial to a defendant’s DUI case. The SCRAM device can be used as a negotiating tool while bargaining for a plea deal. Most individuals are more willing to wear the SCRAM bracelet, than incarceration. Thus, some defendants will receive a deal suggesting that they wear the SCRAM device, instead of going to jail.

If You Have Been Arrested for DUI, Contact The Orange County DUI Attorney Law Firm To Schedule Your Free DUI Consultation.

As stated previously, the punishments associated with a DUI can have a lasting impact on your life. If you have any prior DUI offenses, it will make a subsequent DUI’s punishments much more severe. For this reason, we encourage you to hire an experienced and diligent attorney to stand by your side throughout the entirety of the DUI process. Our law firm has represented clients in DUI cases for nearly thirty years and has been successful in doing so. If you would like to consult with one of our attorneys, we encourage you to call our office as soon as you can.

Contact the Orange County DUI attorney law firm today at 949-377-2280 to schedule your free initial consultation.