Understanding Your Rights

Three Government Interventions For Stopping Repeat DUI Offenses

The government has put in place several measures to prevent those who have been convicted of drinking under the influence (DUI) from repeating their offenses. Most of these measures involve either driving or drinking restrictions. Here are three examples of such measures:

Wearing a SCRAM Bracelet

In some places, you may be required to wear Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring (SCRAM) bracelets. The bracelets work by monitoring the alcohol level in your sweat and sending the data to a regional monitoring center. The monitoring center reports to the authorities if they detect alcohol in your system.

In most cases, wearing a SCRAM bracelet is a condition of receiving a reduced punishment. For example, you may be ordered to wear a SCRAM bracelet and go on probation instead of getting sent to jail. Drinking with a SCRAM bracelet easily gets you sent to jail, so it's best to avoid alcohol (even if you won't be driving) if you have a SCRAM bracelet on.

Installing an Ignition Interlock in Your Car

Whereas a SCRAM bracelet is worn on the ankle, an ignition interlock device (IID) is installed in the car (usually in the dashboard). Similar to a breathalyzer, the IID measures the alcohol content in the air you exhale. However, instead of sending the data to a regional center, the device locks the car's ignition (hence the name), which means the vehicle won't start. The car only starts if you blow into the device, and it confirms that the alcohol content in your breath is safe for driving.

Unlike a SCRAM, you can drink with an IID (since it's installed in your car) as long as you don't drive. If you cheat it, for example by drinking after starting the car, you risk getting nabbed in the rolling retest. A typical IID is programmed to request periodic retests (known as rolling retests), where you the device gives you time to pull over and breath into the IED again. The IID records the data from the rolling retests since it would be dangerous to lock the ignition if you are on the highway.

License Suspension

Wearing a gadget isn't the only method the authorities use to prevent convicted DUI offenders from repeating their offenses. Many jurisdictions will also suspend your license; some may do it for your first conviction while others reserve the suspension for the second or third offense. Of course, it's an offense to drive without a valid driving license, and doing so can attract monetary fines or even jail time.

As you can see, these interventions can have great interference and restrictions on your daily life. It's your legal right to defend yourself and convince the court that you don't deserve the restrictions.  How you defend yourself depends on your specific charges and the circumstances of your arrest. If you have been charged with a DUI and want to avoid the three restrictions, consult an attorney to help you with the defense.