Lindsay Lohan’s SCRAM Prone to False Positives

by baronedefensefirm on May 25, 2010

Lohan's SCRAM anklet

On May 24, 2010, Lindsay Lohan was once again ordered to wear a SCRAM bracelet to monitor her sobriety.  Trouble is, the bracelet is not “stunningly accurate” as has been reported elsewhere.

The monitor is worn around the ankle and has sensors that measure the alcohol in the wearer’s body as it travels through the skin in the wearer’s perspiration.   The device is made by Alcohol Monitoring Systems (AMS), in Denver, Colo.  They call this sweat alcohol measurement “TAC” or transdermal alcohol content.  The device takes measurements every 30 minutes. The results are stored by the device to be later downloaded to a modem each day and sent via land-line telephone to AMS where it is interpreted.  This information can then becomes the basis for later court hearings where AMS will allege that an unlawful drinking event has been “confirmed.”

The device weighs about 6.5-ounces, and has various tamper resistant measures that are intended to prevent user fraud.  For example, the device can’t be taken off without the AMS being alerted because the sensors record the wearer’s temperature. The device can also detect if the wearer attempts to block the measurement of alcohol through the placement of various objects such as paper, foil, plastic or fabric between the device and skin.

While the SCRAM device does have a useful purpose, the problem is that many judges will take the confirmation of drinking by AMS as an absolute and assume that any attempt to defend the allegation is simply further denial by an offender like Lohan who, knowing they were being monitored, still could not control their drinking.  But is this assumption well founded in the science that underlies the SCRAM bracelet?

Here is a list of prior blogs addressing this and other issues.  Read them and make up your own mind:

SCRAM Bracelet Falsely Triggered by Hairspray

NHTSA studies Transdermal Electrochemical Alcohol Testing

New Alcohol Tether Case Law

Alcohol Monitoring Ankle Bracelets: Junk Science Or Important Scientific Break through?

Bottom line is this:  If Linsay Lohan is not careful, or not well represented, she may end up going to jail falsely accused.

Get a FREE confidential CASE EVALUATION on your Michigan OWI/OWVI/DUI by calling (248) 306-9159 , or filling out this consultation request form. Call now, there’s no obligation!


This post was written by...

– who has written 203 posts on Michigan DUI and License Restoration Lawyers.

Patrick T. Barone is the author on two books on DUI defense including the well respected two volume treatise Defending Drinking Drivers (James Publishing), and The DUI Book – A Citizen’s Guide to Understanding DUI Litigation in America. He is also the author of a monthly DUI defense column for the Criminal Defense Newsletter, published by Michigan’s State Appellate Defender’s Office. Mr. Barone is an adjunct professor at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School where he teaches Drunk Driving Law and Practice. He is also on the faculty of the Criminal Defense Attorney’s of Michigan’s Trial Lawyer’s College where he provides trial skills training to Michigan’s criminal defense practitioners. Mr. Barone lectures nationally on various DUI defense topics, and he has appeared in newspapers, on television and on radio as a drunk driving defense expert. Mr. Barone has been certified as an instructor and practitioner of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and has also attended a 24-hour certification course at National Patent Analytical Corporation (the manufacturer of the DataMaster) and has thereby been deemed competent by the manufacturer to operate, perform essential diagnostic verifications and calibration checks on the DataMaster. Mr. Barone is a Sustaining Member of College for DUI Defense. Mr. Barone is the principal and founding member of The Barone Defense Firm, whose practice is limited exclusively to defending drinking drivers. The Firm is headquartered in Birmingham, Michigan.

Leave a Comment

Refresh Image

Previous post:

Next post: