SCRAM Bracelets Explained

Michael J. Carlson, of Mechanicsville, was
charged with DUI and involuntary manslaughter
in connection with the
death of Ashland runner Meg Menzies
on Monday morning.

A judge has ordered him not to drink
any alcohol, and he'll have a device attached to his body to make sure he doesn't.
It's called a SCRAM bracelet, and Carlson must now wear one on his ankle 24
hours a day, seven days a week; it will make sure he doesn't drink one sip of

“It's sort of like a GPS monitoring,
except it monitors your alcohol levels,” said Andrew Green, an attorney who
represents drunk drivers.

Some of Green's clients have been
ordered to wear the SCRAM bracelet.

“There's no way for them to take it
off,” Green said.

Dr. Carlson will have a bracelet
fastened tightly to his ankle when he posts a $25,000 bond. It will monitor his
perspiration levels constantly, and if alcohol is detected, the SCRAM company
will immediately notify Hanover County courts.

“It's sort of like keeping someone
on house arrest,” Green said. “If they leave the house, you know they're going
to leave and then in this instance, if they're going to drink, you're going to
know immediately.”

The SCRAM system isn't cheap, and
Carlson will pay $50 to $100 to have it installed, plus almost $15 for the
monitoring. He's been ordered not to have any alcohol, and if he does, the
bracelet will catch it.

“It's a good way to deter them from
drinking, otherwise they're going to be back in court,” Green said.

Carlson can't leave jail until the
SCRAM bracelet is firmly attached to his leg. His next court hearing is set for
April 2.


Copyright 2014 by Young
Broadcasting of Richmond

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