SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring® (SCRAM CAM®) is an innovative way of monitoring alcohol consumption. Its success at enforcing sobriety and helping to change behaviours in vulnerable and alcohol-dependent adults, has seen its use rise steeply. So how does this alcohol tag actually work?
The bracelet is worn on the ankle and tests for the presence of alcohol in perspiration every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As such, it can detect the drinking of alcohol in real-time. The results are automatically gathered and uploaded without the wearer having to do anything. These results then highlight the frequency and pattern of alcohol consumption. The technology is so advanced it can differentiate between very low alcohol consumption (such as 1–2 units) and environmental sources. For example, a visit to premises serving alcohol or spillages of alcohol on the skin can be distinguished from actual ingestion. Spilling any product containing alcohol (such as hairspray or perfume) would create a rapid spike in the results, which would be much faster than the body would ever consume alcohol. As an added support measure, an analysis is performed to ensure that any confirmed event is indeed consumed alcohol.
The SCRAM CAM® bracelet is waterproof and tamper-resistant. Temperature sensors and an infrared sensor measure the reflective quality of the skin to ensure the bracelet is in place. These sensors also ensure that nothing has been placed between the skin and the bracelet in an attempt to obstruct the alcohol testing. Other strap and battery sensors confirm the bracelet is in place and on the proper subject. The bracelet also continuously conducts diagnostic tests to ensure the unit is functioning properly.
The bracelets need to be fitted by professionally trained staff. AlphaBiolabs has ten SCRAM CAM® alcohol-detection centres across the UK to fit the bracelets, monitor the results and provide reports after an agreed time period.