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SCRAMx test shows results of a day of drinking

Our subject and his SCRAMx monitor

Here at the Ohio OVI Blog we strive to get out all of the information possible about OVI laws in Ohio so that people can realize the danger in drinking and driving and practice control. As such, we’ve been working with Alternative Horizon Counseling to find out more about alcohol monitoring programs. Because they like us, they allowed us to have a test subject wear a SCRAMx ankle bracelet during the Cleveland Indians home opener last week (See our previous post about what a SCRAMx is). It didn’t take us a long to hook up with a test subject who was willing to have us monitor his drinking for the special occasion. The hard part was getting him to take appropriate notes of the day.

Below is his journal from that day. We’d like to thank him for taking the time to share this experiment with us. As always, we never encourage drinking or overindulgence at the Ohio OVI Blog. We feel safe in saying that this individual was going to have a few drinks for the Indians home opener anyway, we just jumped on for the ride. Our test subject was a volunteer and was not paid (although he shook us down for a free lunch this week).

March 31 – The bracelet is installed

The bracelet was installed at 4:50 pm. After being installed I had to wait 30 minutes before I could have a drink. I was told this is done to set up a baseline reading. After 30 minutes, I had two bourbons and diets and some dinner. After dinner I hopped a ride to Around The Corner in Lakewood. I stayed at this bar with friends for a few hours; I had a jack and diet, a shot of Patron, an orange bomb and a gummy bear shot and an Amstel Light (I party). The hour was getting late, and it was at this time I realized I had an experiment to run for Ohio OVI Blog tomorrow and decided that was my limit and hopped a taxi ride home. My BAC when I left Around The Corner was .22, almost three times the legal limit (which is .08).

A few side notes about the SCRAMx bracelet: It vibrates once every 15-30 minutes and is a little bulky around the ankle. This vibration and bulkiness affected my sleep, which made me a little grumpy.

April 1 – The Indians home opener

I don’t know what to say except that the thoughts herein might get a little foggy. I headed downtown around 9:30 am and started with breakfast, a couple of beers and an orange bomb (my preferred breakfast shot). I jumped around to four different bars to meet some friends before heading toward my seat at 12:40. I had another beer and four more shots before heading to the stadium. Once in my seats, I slowed my pace a little and had three beers during the game and also ate a hamburger. I have to say that I considered having a few more after the Tribe went down by double-digit runs.

At this point I have to admit that I was not in the stadium for the Indians’ late run at the White Sox. When I left they still had a goose egg on the board, although I’m not sure what time it was exactly. Herein we’ll have to rely on the SCRAMx, as I lost track of things after I left the stadium. I visited two more bars downtown and then cut myself off a little before 10. Don’t worry, I ate all three meals during day, adding a Panini to my late night diet.

After a long day of drinking and baseball, I hopped a taxi back to my place in Lakewood around 10:30. I had the bracelet removed at 11:30 and fell asleep sitting up in my recliner. It was not my finest moment.

In trying to total up the drinks, I had at least eight beers, three cocktails and can account for no fewer than 14 shots. I suspect I had more than that, but can’t be 100 percent sure.

April 2 – The aftermath

On top of a hangover, I feel a little weird today. I sort of miss the vibration of the bracelet on my ankle. We bonded over time and I feel like I’m missing a part of my leg.

In the end, the results say that my drinking was a bit excessive. My high point, according to the SCRAMx was a blood alcohol level of .349 (almost four and a half times the legal limit) at 8:29 pm. I am 5-foot-11 and 230 pounds, so I’m not exactly a small guy, which means that I probably had more than 14 shots. Based on the BAC calculator.

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts, Ohio OVI Blog. We should do this again sometime soon. (See this attached PDF to view the hour by hour breakdown of the alcohol in my system: OVI Blog – test)

The Ohio OVI Blog would like to thank our test subject and our good friends at Alternative Horizon Counseling for allowing us to experiment with the SCRAMx. The purpose of this bracelet is detect the presence of one drink, if you are assigned this bracelet you are not permitted to have any alcohol as the terms of your probation. Below is a little information about the SCRAMx works.


The SCRAM System uses an electrochemical fuel cell to detect alcohol. The fuel cell is the same one used in Drager’s Alco-test Breath Devices. At a predetermined interval, a pump in the bracelet pulls a controlled sample to the alcohol sensor for analysis. The amount of reaction of the fuel cell is interpreted and a Trans-dermal Alcohol Concentration (TAC) is calculated. This calculation is an estimation of the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC).

Tamper Technology is contained within the bracelet and is used to detect several different types of tampers; obstructions, removals, cut straps and damage. The technology used to detect removals and obstruction material is the Infrared (IR) sensor. Combination of the IR sensor, temperature sensor and the fuel cell voltage can be used to confirm obstructions and removals.

The IR sensor is used to make certain the bracelet is on the client and to detect materials being placed between the bracelet and the leg, potentially blocking the faceplate. The IR sensor, which is contained in the SCRAM bracelet, provides an IR beam between the bracelet and the leg of the client; the reflection of this beam is then measured in volts.

The temperature sensor monitors the bracelet temperature to detect possible tampers and removals. The temperature sensor is located in the bracelet, this impacted by the body’s warming effect and the environmental temperature.

Data Interpretation

The Trans-dermal Alcohol Concentration (TAC) readings are the black line and are represented on the scale to the left of the graph. The Infrared (IR) readings are identified on the light blue line and the temperature readings are displayed on the red line and represented by the scale on the right of the graph.

Confirmed Consumption

Alcohol detections confirmed as consumption identify the Blood Alcohol Curve and include both the presence of absorption to the peak with an absorption rate less than 0.05 percent per hour, and the presence of elimination with an elimination rate less than 0.025 percent per hour if the peak was less than 0.150 percent or less than 0.035 percent per hour if the peak is 0.150 percent or above.



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