Lindsay Lohan's Probable SCRAM Scam

Illustration for article titled Lindsay Lohans Probable SCRAM Scam

For the past few days, I've been in pursuit of the accessory of the summer—a SCRAM ankle bracelet. My aim was to test the thing out, push its limits, see how much I could tamper with it without getting caught, and most importantly, find out just how trashed I could get while wearing it. Yesterday I was on the horn with Kathleen Brown the PR person for Alcohol Monitoring Systems, which manufactures the SCRAM (which stands for "secure continuous remote alcohol monitor").My dreams were dashed when Ms. Brown explained to me that because of "legal issues", I wouldn't be able to perform a demo on the trendy product, because I'd be purposefully getting wasted, and the company feared that I might "hurt" myself or others.

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After being told that a freebie demo was out of the question, I decided to just fork over the cash (or rather, expense the bill) and pay for the damn thing. As far as desirable accessories goes, this one is really affordable: A one-time installation fee of $50 - $100, and a daily monitoring fee of $10 - $15. Not bad, right? So I decided to just enroll in the SCRAM alcohol monitoring program voluntarily, a la Lohan. Easier said than done! Actually, it's practically impossible. After reading the company's FAQ, I instant-messaged Anna yesterday and was like, "I'm beginning to question whether Lindsay's bracelet is a bunch of bullshit." Imagine my self-satisfaction when I woke up this morning to the news that I was most likely right.

I'm not saying that the bracelet itself is bullshit. I'm saying that Lindsay's enrollment in the program is. Actually, the SCRAM bracelet, and the system that runs it, is sophisticated and is probably the most effective alcohol screener around, in that it monitors the "offender" (that's how they refer to them in the literature provided by the company) 24/7, through the toxins in the sweat emitted from the body. The scientific explanation is here. The bracelet detects the booze sweat, and then sends a signal to the SCRAM modem, which sends a signal to the monitoring center, where a human sitting behind a laptop will see that the wearer has been knocking 'em back.

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Illustration for article titled Lindsay Lohans Probable SCRAM Scam

While researching how I'd be able to get my leg in one of those things, it became obvious that I'd have to make up some elaborate lie about why I needed to be monitored, and even that didn't guarantee the privilege, because the bracelets and the monitoring system need to be court-ordered, as part of a condition of bond, parole, or a re-entry program, etc. So I immediately became suspicious of LiLo's "voluntary" involvement with the program. I imagined that for her, the bracelet was like any other clothing item or accessory—for appearances only. Fashion over function.

But the thing is, even if Linds was enrolled in the program, did any of us (her lawyers, handlers, parents included) think that booze was her main vice? Proving that she's not drinking does nothing to prove her sobriety. As far as my limited knowledge on this device goes, SCRAM does not detect coke, weed, or pills, including ecstasy (as she was rumored to be in the market for during her recent post-rehab Vegas bash).

If Lindsay's blood alcohol level at the time of her arrest was .14, as it's been reported, then she would have been drinking for a while. The human being behind the laptop at the monitoring place would've seen that and alerted whomever was on the call list, and that person would've been able to prevent her from getting behind the wheel. But none of that happened.

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Lindsay's lawyer has recently issued a statement to TMZ saying, "Unfortunately, late yesterday I was informed that Lindsay had relapsed. The bracelet has now been removed." I have a feeling that she was informed of the relapse because she was on the receiving end of the one phone call Linds was allowed to make from the slammer. Perhaps the statement would've been more succinct had she said, "Uh, the jig is up!"

Related: Is The Scram A Sham? [TMZ]
SCRAM [AlcoholMonitoringSystems]

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DISCUSSION

So I'm super late to seeing all this LaLohan news due to a ridiculous hangover which kept me from going to work (friends in town last night). In fact, when I saw all these Lohan posts on another site, I was confused as to why they were reiterating what I thought was old news.

Anyway, I'm kind of on the fence about all of this. I'm a few years older than Lohan, but I drink, I'll do blow if its available, since it helps sober me up to drive home, but I certainly don't consider myself an alcoholic junkie.

When I go out, I like to have a good time, however, I don't drink or do drugs on a regular basis (i.e. not recreational) and I don't ever have the desire to do so during the regular week. I have a good job and I have been regularly promoted which may speak to my judgment (I generally don't drive when I feel I am impaired and I most certainly don't think of engaging in car chases) but I'm not sure how I - and many other people I know - are much different that Lohan. Yes, she's been caught, but does that make her anymore an addict than myself or a bunch of other recreational drinkers / drug users?

If we all were younger and had jobs that occupied 50-60% of our lives yet paid ridiculously well, would we not be out partying? I know I would be - hell, that was basically what college was like for me and many other people I know who now have very high powered careers. I mean if I was shamed into going into rehab to fix my personal image when I was younger, or god forbid a co-worker saw me out drunk w/ a coke ring under my nose, I may alter my habits temporarily, but really I'd be thinking - fuck you to think you can interfere with how I choose to spend my limited free time.

But then again, maybe I'm an addict and don't know it yet.