TAMPA – More people are wearing a cool, new bracelet that nobody wants. Actress Lindsey Lohan has helped make the SCRAMx bracelet famous. It didn’t keep her out of trouble, but thousands of others arrested on alcohol-related charges are using the bracelet with positive results.
SCRAM stands for Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor. It’s worn on the ankle, and it continuously checks invisible perspiration on the skin for alcohol. It’s hooked up to a computer modem. If you drink, it shows up.
Steve Hulgin, a paving company owner from Pasco County, says the bracelet kept him out of jail, saved his company, and helped reunite his family.
Hulgin had been arrested for multiple DUIs. He says the judge was ready to send him to prison, but gave him a chance to wear the bracelet instead.
“I knew I couldn’t beat the bracelet,” Hulgin said. “I knew that if the judge caught me drinking one beer, I was going to prison.”
Hulgin says he wore the bracelet for nearly a year. He says it helped him quit drinking.
He’s been offering the SCRAMx bracelet for three years.
“The first year, we saved the county $700,000 dollars. The following year was $1.3 million. This year it will be well over two million dollars,” says Kopczynski.
Pinellas judge Paul Levine says he often orders alcohol offenders to wear the bracelet instead of going to jail. He says 70 percent of the people who come through the Pinellas jail are sent before him for alcohol-related charges, from DUI, to battery, petty theft, and burglary.
“We don’t use it for everyone,” says Levine, “But for the people that are good candidates, it works wonderfully.”
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