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How Do I Trick or Fool the SCRAM Ankle Bracelet

How Do I Trick or Fool the SCRAM Ankle Bracelet

The simple answer? Don’t even try. Though it can be tempting to try to outsmart the device, doing so could cost you big time. Tampering with the SCRAM ankle bracelet could result in jail time (or additional jail time if you have already spent time in jail for your DUI arrest), not to mention the loss of your bond money and revocation of your probation. Ultimately, it’s just not worth it. In fact, in my many years serving as a criminal defense and DUI attorney in San Diego, I have never seen anyone successfully trick or fool the SCRAM ankle bracelet once.

In fact, the SCRAM ankle bracelet offers you the chance to redeem yourself in the eyes of the prosecution. The technology used in this device is highly advanced and capable of detecting whether or not tampering has occurred. You could end up jeopardizing your freedom should you attempt to outsmart the device.

How Does the SCRAM Ankle Bracelet Detect Tampering?

The SCRAM ankle bracelet contains both a sensor pack and various electronics meant to detect signs of tampering. Together, these two parts allow the device to accurately test for alcohol consumption and ensure that it is not removed, altered, or tampered with.

Some of the ways the SCRAM ankle bracelet detects tampering or attempted tampering include:

  • Temperature sensors, which actively monitor ambient temperature, including the temperature of skin, and can determine if the bracelet has been removed or tampered with
  • Infrared sensors, which measure the reflective quality of the skin and can determine if any item is placed between the skin and the bracelet
  • Battery sensors and straps, which are there to help ensure that the bracelet remains in place and is not removed
  • Continuous self-testing, which ensures proper functioning and reduces the ability to remove or otherwise tamper with the device

Is It Possible to Receive a Negative on a Breath or Urine Test after a Positive Ankle Bracelet Reading?

It is possible that a drinking event may register on the SCRAM ankle bracelet and be undetected hours later during a normal breath or urine test. This is because, barring excessive amounts of alcohol, any alcohol that is consumed is metabolized relatively quickly in the body. Once this process occurs, it is virtually impossible to detect any traces of alcohol in someone’s bloodstream, breath, or urine. While these types of chemical tests are generally accurate, they are most effective for testing soon after a drink event has occurred. Because they are relatively easy to circumvent, breath, urine, and other non-dermal alcohol tests are generally less useful hours after someone has consumed alcohol.

Can I Block the SCRAM Ankle Bracelet’s Readings by Putting Something between It & My Skin or by Stopping Sweating by Putting My Leg in Cold Water?

Neither of these “tricks” will result in an ideal outcome, and there are several reasons why. When the SCRAM ankle bracelet is first placed on someone, it utilizes infrared technology to determine a baseline reading of the individual’s skin reflectivity. Placing something between the bracelet and one’s skin will result in a disruption of this skin reflectivity reading, which will then cause the bracelet to detect tampering. Often, the bracelet will not only be able to detect the disruption in infrared readings but will also be able to still read alcohol data as well.

Attempting to outsmart the bracelet by placing your ankle or leg in cold water—even ice water—will also not work. Instead, the bracelet’s temperature sensor will detect the change in ambient temperature and register an alert. Additionally, this will not disrupt its ability to test for alcohol.

In either case, the SCRAM ankle bracelet will detect the attempted tampering. This will result in a violation, which could then result in severe consequences.

How Do False Positives Occur?

You may have noticed the list of alcohol-containing products that you are not supposed to use while wearing the SCRAM ankle bracelet. This list, and the required signed agreement that accompanies it, is designed to stop bracelet wearers from trying to conceal alcohol consumption by applying alcohol-containing products or sprays directly to the bracelet, then claiming that the product caused the positive reading.

However, advanced technology allows the SCRAM ankle bracelet to detect when alcohol is metabolized by the body and when it is simply applied directly to the device. The bracelet can register a “spike,” or an event in which the alcohol reading increases at a much faster rate than the body can metabolize it. Although the bracelet is able to determine the difference between alcohol that is consumed and alcohol that is applied to the device, a reading that occurs in this way will still need further human analysis to verify that a false positive has or has not occurred.

What Can NOT Cause a False Positive?

There are many misconceptions and myths regarding what can and cannot cause a false positive. The SCRAM ankle bracelet is very technologically advanced and therefore capable of detecting the difference between environmental and consumed alcohol.

Some things that generally cannot cause false positives include:

  • Spilling alcohol or an alcohol-containing product on the bracelet
  • Visiting a salon (being around a lot of hairspray)
  • Kissing someone who has consumed alcohol
  • Having sex with someone who has consumed alcohol
  • Eating baked goods
  • Consuming non-alcoholic beer
  • Taking cold medicine
  • Using mouth wash or hand sanitizer

So long as proper testing protocol is followed, it is almost certain that none of the things mentioned above will result in a false positive.

What Are the Penalties for Tampering with the SCRAM Ankle Bracelet?

Each case is different and the penalties for tampering with your SCRAM ankle bracelet will likely be left up to the discretion of the supervising agency. Commonly, offenders have their probation or bond revoked and may sometimes even be required to serve time in jail. The severity of the penalties for tampering with the SCRAM ankle bracelet will likely range depending on the nature of the initial offense.

If you or someone you know needs the assistance of an experienced DUI attorney in San Diego, contact our office at (619) 304-8865 today. Our team can answer your questions and address any concerns you may have.


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