Colorado-based Alcohol Monitoring Systems (AMS) announced that the world’s first 24/7 transdermal alcohol monitoring device has monitored its half-millionth client. Known as SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring® (SCRAM CAM®), the technology is most commonly used to ensure repeat drunk drivers stay sober as a condition of bond or probation.
In 2003, after a decade of research and testing, AMS launched the ankle bracelet system, which automatically tests the wearer’s perspiration every 30 minutes, 24/7, for alcohol consumption. The technology was developed in the garage of Jeff Hawthorne, a forward-thinking engineer who lost a college friend in a crash caused by a five-time drunk driver.
Because alcohol is metabolized so quickly, Hawthorne sought to create a better way to monitor alcohol-involved criminal offenders who are required to be sober long-term. The result was the transdermal alcohol testing system used today throughout the United States, Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
The milestone underscores just how integral the alcohol monitoring ankle bracelet has become to help communities address drunk driving and alcohol-related crime. The data from the 500,000 individuals monitored by the device shows that 99.4% of all SCRAM CAM clients, every day, are completely sober and compliant. “This means safer communities, reduced repeat offenses, and hundreds of thousands of lives that have been changed for the better,” says Mike Iiams, president and CEO of AMS. “This technology has completely re-engineered the way officials monitor and manage drunk drivers.”
Changing the world
According to Iiams, one of the most notable results of the large-scale use of the technology is not necessarily one that was anticipated when the system was invented. “We hear regularly from participants—or their loved ones—who reach out to tell us that the ankle bracelet helped them get and stay sober long enough to really change the course of their lives. It isn’t often you get to say you changed the world, but Jeff’s invention did just that,” says Iiams.