Teresa Broxton is the supervisor of Leon County's pre-trial release program. Her office now monitors DUI offenders through a system called SCRAM, Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor, an anklet that detects alcohol consumption through the wearer's sweat.
"I think everyone benefits from it; the public, because we're monitoring the offenders to make sure there is a public safety issue; the offender benefits because they are constantly reminded that they are being tested for alcohol and to remind them within the court order," said Broxton.
The device is a constant reminder to refrain from alcohol. It transmits data to a modem to detect if and how much an offender is drinking.
Leon County Judge James O. Shelfer has ordered seven offenders to wear them as part of their pre-trial release order.
"I think it's a win-win situation because the public is protected, the defendant is not incarcerated and the jail is not overcrowded."
Chris Franzetti, who is the director of the Partnership for Alcohol Responsibility, is pleased the county is cracking down.
"We support any program that's going to reduce high risk alcohol use and cause personal injury, death, many, many negative consequences."
It’s a small price to pay to protect innocent lives.
The pilot program launched a few months ago and has been so successful it's getting a three-month extension. In March, the County Commission will decide whether they'd like to continue with the program.