Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (CAM) with SCRAM

Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (CAM) with SCRAM

by admin

With testing every 30 minutes - SCRAM CAM is a powerful tool for proving sobriety, managing risk, and supporting treatment


The problem – how can you know when a person is or isn’t drinking?

Alcohol consumption is frequently associated with problematic behaviour, such as the commission of criminal offences or the abuse or neglect of children. Courts, co-parents, and child protection agencies are faced with a challenging task in such cases. They want to manage the resulting risk in the least intrusive way possible, for example, by keeping the person out of jail, leaving their children in their care, or enabling them to have unsupervised parenting time. To do that, they need to know that if the person drinks, they will know about it. Traditional forms of testing for alcohol consumption, such as urine testing, blood testing, and hair analysis, are not able to provide information that is sufficiently reliable and timely, resulting in more intrusive forms of risk management – incarceration in criminal cases, and the removal of children from a parent’s care or supervised access in family and child protection cases.

The solution – testing for alcohol every 30 minutes with SCRAM CAM

We are all familiar with breath testing for alcohol. In the same way that alcohol that is in the process of being eliminated by the body is present in breath, it is present in the invisible perspiration vapour that is continuously emitted through our skin. The SCRAM CAM system tests for alcohol in this perspiration vapour every 30 minutes, 24/7. The testing apparatus is contained within an ankle bracelet.

Why an ankle bracelet?

Using an ankle bracelet secures the testing apparatus close to the skin and prevents the person from being able to remove the device without detection. It also enables the testing to be passive – the device takes each test without the person being tested needing to do anything,  go anywhere, or remember to bring the device with them wherever they go.

While the idea of wearing an ankle bracelet may at first seem intrusive, most people get used to it very quickly and find that it is far more convenient than going for blood or urine tests. They also find that SCRAM CAM is a far more powerful tool than other testing methods for proving that they are sober, regaining people’s trust, and supporting their treatment and recovery.

How are the test results reported?

The bracelet stores its test results in its on-board memory. A second piece of equipment called a base station (essentially a modem) is plugged into the person’s landline or internet connection (if they don’t have a landline or internet connection, the system can also use the cellular network). The bracelet wirelessly transmits its test results data to the base station, which uploads it to SCRAM’s cloud-based software, SCRAMNet. This upload is typically programmed to occur once every 24 hours and the person being monitored is required to be at home, or in the presence of the modem, for that purpose at least once per day.

SCRAMNet will flag and provide a preliminary analysis of any data indicating the presence of alcohol or possible tampering. Human analysts then review the flagged data and preliminary analysis to confirm whether the data indicates consumption or tampering. Confirmed consumption or tampering is then reported to the police in criminal cases or to the other parent or child protection worker in family and child protection cases.

The timing and form of reports, including regular or on-demand compliance reports, are customized to meet the neeeds of each case. Uploads of more than once per day can also be customized for individual cases.

Because the CAM system is testing for alcohol every 30 minutes, the resulting series of readings provides a detailed picture of any drinking events, from the time the alcohol begins to be absorbed to the time it is completely eliminated. This detailed picture of individual drinking events is far more informative and useful than the point-in-time results provided by blood or urine testing or the averaged-over-many-months data produced by hair testing.

SCRAM CAM is recognized as the gold standard for alcohol testing worldwide

Developed in the United States for use as an alternative to incarceration with repeat and high-BAC drunk drivers, SCRAM CAM is now well-established within the criminal and family justice systems in the USA, United Kingdom, and Australia. It has been the subject of numerous studies establishing its scientific reliability and the subject of evidentiary hearings establishing its reliability in court proceedings. In Canada, RSC’s SCRAM CAM program has been used successfully in many criminal, family, and child protection cases. 

Next steps

Contact us for more information or, if you’re ready to proceed, let’s Get Started here for Family Cases or here for Criminal Cases.

Every individual who wears a SCRAM CAM bracelet has a unique, personal story. But after alcohol monitoring becomes a part of so many diverse lives, the outcomes share a common theme: Making a Difference.

Ron’s Story

Dawn’s Story

Dennis’ Story