The economy has caused many of us to make cuts not only personally but also in business, and the government is no exception.
They need to make cutbacks just like the rest of us. In order to save money they have begun using advanced technologies to monitor people with DUI convictions.
Many states closed down prisons in the past couple years making it expensive and uneconomical to fill them especially for lesser crimes such as drunk drivers. So some states have adopted electrical monitoring devices for people convicted of DUI.
Included in this development of technology is Virginia. It only costs $12 for offenders to wear this ankle monitor 24 hours a day. This is the cheaper option compared to the $150.00 it costs to keep a minor offender in the Loudon County Jail. Plus the convicted driver is the one who pays the cost to wear the anklet.
Bari Lynn Williams is learning the hard way that this ankle bracelet can cause you to think twice about drinking and driving.
Back in April 2007, Williams was pulled over by the Loudon sheriff’s deputies. She had been at a golf outing earlier that day and had partaken in a few adult beverages.
The deputies pulled her over on suspicion of drinking and driving when they found baggies with drug residue.
She pleaded guilty to drunken driving and drug possession. She got two years probation. The judge told Williams he would dismiss the charges if she followed a court program of probation, therapy, attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous and periodic checks for substance abuse.
She had no problems until recently when a deputy stopped by her house for a check and her BAC content was a 0.09, a smidge over the legal limit in Virginia which is 0.08.
Williams faced up to 6 months in jail for violating the terms of her agreement- or she could wear the SCRAM (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor) anklet. This device has a small fuel cell located in the bracelet that’s sensitive enough to detect even the tiniest amount of alcohol that emerges from a person’s skin after drinking.
SCRAM samples perspiration every 30 minutes thus being able to detect the slightest amount of alcohol on the body. So every time an offender sweats it can sense the alcohol and alert the police.
There are about 15,000 SCRAM anklets being used throughout 46 states.
Williams states she’s thankful to be wearing the bracelet because it keeps her out of jail. Sure there is the slight embarrassment she suffers with her new fashion anklet, but to her it’s worth wearing. It keeps her from drinking and will prevent her from any future charges of drinking under the influence.