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Company reveals updated alcohol monitoring device

Those who are arrested for DUI in Illinois are subject to detention until a cash bond is posted. The purpose of the bond is to ensure the defendant’s return to court. If the defendant fails to appear at any court date, the cash bond will be forfeited and the judge will thereafter issue an arrest warrant.

The sheriff may make an active effort to locate the defendant. Even short of that, the defendant is subject to arrest at any time thereafter in the event he or she has future contact with the police.

Even if the initial purpose of the contact is not related to serving the warrant, if the police run a warrant check upon contact, something they ordinarily do, the defendant will be taken to jail as a result of the active warrant, since a warrant is a court order.  There is no statute of limitations for a warrant and no jurisdictional restriction. In other words, a person who has an active warrant can be hauled to jail at any time and from anywhere in the country until the warrant is served or a judge quashes it.

A bond includes conditions, such as not leaving the state without permission. Some judges, in DUI arrests, also prohibit the person subject to bond from consumig any alcohol or illegal drugs. To monitor compliance with the no alcohol condition, a judge may require the person to wear a Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring (SCRAM) device.

A SCRAM is quite simply an ankle bracelet that monitors alcohol in the skin and sends the readings to a remote location, such as a probation office. If the device detects alcohol, the person wearing it may have the bond revoked and be taken to jail to await trial.

These devices are different from the Interlock devices that are used when someone is issued a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) or a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP).  The Interlock device is based upon analysis of the user’s breath and is only in effect when the user is trying to start the car and while operating it, rather than the 24-hour-a-day monitoring the SCRAM provides.

Furthermore, an MDDP and the corresponding Interlock device is applicable only during the period of a Statutory Summary Suspension (SSS). This is the suspension that occurs when there is a DUI arrest and the driver either turns down the chance to provide a breath or blood sample to determine a BAC reading or gives a sample that registers .08 or higher.

The MDDP ends once the SSS is over. And using it is entirely optional; declining it simply means you cannot legally drive during the SSS. (625 ILCS 5/6-208.1)  You don’t get jailed for not using it as long as you are not driving.

If you are convicted of DUI, your driver’s license will be revoked. In order to drive, you must have a hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State and apply for an RDP.  You may be required to install an Interlock device but here again, declining to request an RDP does not put you at the risk of jail unless you are caught driving.

In addition to requiring a SCRAM device while on bond, some courts also make it a condition of DUI supervision dispositions or a condition of probation if you are convicted of the DUI.  At least in those cases, the SCRAM order is not imposed until and unless you are found guilty of the offense for which you were charged.

Either the court system has raised concern about, or the SCRAM makers, in an effort to expand their market, have generated concern over, someone else wearing the defendant’s SCRAM bracelet. As a result, the maker of this device has come out with facial recognition software that the maker claims can identify, with 95% accuracy, if the person wearing the device is the one to whom it applies.

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