SCRAM in lieu of jail


Yesterday I had a client in my conference room discussing his 3rd DUI arrest in less than 5 years. Under Ohio law and the circumstances of his case, he's facing a mandatory minimum 60 day jail term. Plus, he's on probation to a very strict judge. There's another 6 month jail sentence on top of the 60 he's already facing. What's a lawyer to do?

Well, for starters, we referred him to the Cleveland Clinic for inpatient treatment. After 4 weeks of top notch medical care and responding very well, he was discharged to ongoing treatment locally in Columbus. He's found a counselor that he really enjoys working with. Also, he's working the 12 steps of AA.

Our goal? To get him healthy, keep him employed, and hopefully demonstrate to the prosecutor's office and judge that he is worthy of a reduced sentence. His employer feels strongly about him because it paid for most of his $28,000 inpatient treatment.

In just a few weeks, he will be sentenced. I am hoping for a jail term of 10 days. Build in 2 weekends, he only misses 5 days of work. From there, I will be proposing SCRAM for 180 days. SCRAM is a secure continuous remote alcohol monitor. We volunteered to have SCRAM installed on our client about 2 months ago. Why? To prove that he is capable of going a significant period of time without drinking. So far, so good.

My plan may work. However, it is pricey. Every week my client must pay $91 to rent it. Twice a week he must report to the SCRAM provider and have the data uploaded to their modem. That's a hassle. However, if you ask my client if he'd rather be inconvenienced by SCRAM or go to jail for 6 months, well, I think you know the answer to that.