Alcohol-monitoring ankle bracelets, the unflattering fashion accessory worn by troubled actress Lindsay Lohan and a growing number of DUI offenders, are coming to Seattle, the Seattle Times reports. Seattle’s municipal court plans to begin using the bracelets to keep tabs on drunken-driving defendants. The bracelets, which test alcohol exuded from a person’s skin, are viewed as a cost-effective way to monitor the behavior of those convicted of drunken driving or awaiting trial on DUI charges.
“We were looking for ways to not put people in jail because of the continuing high cost of doing so,” said Judge Brett Buckley of Thurston County District Court. Formally known as a Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor [SCRAM], the bracelets capture alcohol readings every 30 minutes. They also can detect tampering. The data is transmitted wirelessly to a Colorado-based private company, Alcohol Monitoring Systems, which, in turn, sends daily reports to probation staff and courthouses. Details about alcohol consumed and attempts at tampering will be reported.