Saturday St. Patty's Day Doubles Drinking Violations

New data shows added risks of weekend holiday

Mar 14, 2012, 13:48 ET from Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc.

DENVER, March 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Newly released data on offenders monitored 24/7 for alcohol consumption shows that when St. Patrick's Day falls on a Saturday, drinking violations are more than double what they are for a mid-week holiday. The data is for offenders who know they're being monitored every 30 minutes and that the consequences are often time in jail.

The newly released data shows that when the St. Patrick's Day Holiday falls mid-week, drinking violations increase an average of 10%. "But when the holiday falls on the weekend, drinking skyrockets to more than double the violations, just over 25% higher than the annual average," says Lou Sugo, vice president of marketing for Denver-based Alcohol Monitoring Systems (AMS), which monitors 14,000 DUI and other alcohol-involved offenders daily for alcohol consumption. The study looked at data from more than 215,000 alcohol-involved offenders monitored by AMS to-date in 48 states.  

AMS released the data as part of an ongoing initiative called the 200k Insight Series, which provides the criminal justice system with information on the behavioral patterns of Hardcore Drunk Drivers and other alcohol offenders based on the data the company has amassed since launching their monitoring technology in 2003. "This is a biotechnology, not just GPS or home arrest," says Sugo. "We've compiled an extraordinary amount of data that when properly analyzed is providing a great deal of insight into behavior patterns and trending related to alcohol-dependent people," he says. According to Sugo, 80% of offenders monitored with their system are fully compliant while they're being monitored. The technology, known as SCRAMx (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitors), tests a person's sweat, automatically, to determine if they've been drinking.

According to AMS, the data underscores the challenges of the holiday for law enforcement as well as the risks posed by problem drinkers. "If the data we're looking at is for people who know they are being tested 48 times a day, and that there are criminal consequences for the drinking, just imagine what is happening with offenders who aren't being monitored," he adds. The additional risks that go with a weekend St. Patrick's Day are no surprise to law enforcement, who are already warning celebrants of the additional measures they can expect to see over the holiday weekend this year. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation Interagency Task Force on Drunk Driving (ITFDD), regardless of the day of the week, St. Patrick's Day sees the second-highest rate of DUI arrests in the state, right after Halloween.

About Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. (AMS)
Established in 1997, AMS is the world's largest provider of Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (CAM) technology. AMS manufactures SCRAMx, which uses non-invasive transdermal analysis to monitor alcohol consumption and integrates home detention monitoring into a single anklet. SCRAMx fully automates the alcohol testing and reporting process, providing courts and community corrections agencies with the ability to continuously monitor alcohol offenders, increase offender accountability and assess compliance with sentencing requirements and treatment guidelines. SCRAMx has monitored 190,000 offenders in 48 states. AMS employs 126 people across the U.S. and is a privately-held company headquartered in Littleton, Colorado.

SOURCE Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc.