Is Transdermal Alcohol Testing the Future?


Since the SCRAM alcohol testing bracelet was introduced to the UK in 2012 it has gone from strength to strength. The recent headline “Sobriety tags’ rollout as 92% comply in pilot scheme” provides insight into the latest use for the SCRAM bracelet and a further stamp of approval for use in court.

As many of you may be aware, transdermal testing is not new to Family Law Courts – to the point that it was written into the Legal Aid Guidance on the Remuneration of Expert Witnesses. With the change in Legal Aid in England and Wales, and the ever tightening purse strings, this just goes to show what a useful tool it has been to the Family Law Courts.

Now it is also going to be available within London for courts to be able use with offenders whose crimes were influenced by alcohol. This follows a pilot scheme in south London boroughs, which found that 92% of the 113 people that had worn the SCRAM bracelet did not drink. This new initiative is being funded by the Ministry of Justice and the London Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, Magistrates are expected to use SCRAM as an alternative to sentencing offenders to unpaid work.

So what is transdermal alcohol testing?

Just in case you’ve not heard of it, Transdermal Alcohol Testing involves wearing SCRAM, a tamper-evident ankle bracelet, that tests for alcohol through the skin, to show the frequency and pattern of alcohol consumption. The samples are taken automatically by the bracelet every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, leaving no room to miss testing whilst being worn. What’s more it is able to provide evidence of abstinence for court orders of that kind.

If you’d like to learn more about SCRAM and Transdermal Alcohol Testing why not read the case study on our website?

Related Reading:
BBC news article

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