COURT WATCH: Judge Sides with Prosecution, Probation and Denies Defense Request for SCRAM Removal Despite Interference with Man’s Work

By Cynthia Hoang-Duong & Holly Werris

WOODLAND, CA – Judge Daniel M. Wolk, Thursday morning in Yolo County Superior Court, agreed to maintain a man’s Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring (SCRAM) condition despite his good conduct and the unit’s disruptive effect on his work performance.

The accused is charged with driving under the influence with an enhancement for excessive blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and a related count for drunk driving with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher, subject to the same enhancement.

As part of his probation, the accused was ordered to wear a SCRAM, which measures the individual’s BAC every 30 minutes.

Reminding the court that his client has worn the SCRAM unit for 36 days, certified legal intern Taylor Singer—under the supervision of Deputy Public Defender Jose Gonzalez—requested Judge Wolk order the removal of the accused’s SCRAM unit.

With the SCRAM installed for more than a month, the accused has “performed perfectly,” stated Singer, adding, “He’s followed all the terms and conditions of his release and reported to probation as directed.”

The defense argued the SCRAM “significantly negatively impacts” the accused’s work performance. The accused, who works in roofing and carpentry, reported the unit interferes with the gear required for his work, adding the SCRAM has also resulted in bruising.

Probation Officer Sam Perri responded that 36 days is “not a very long time,” and therefore, the unit should remain on for a more substantial period of time before removal is considered.

Although he commended the accused’s good conduct, he noted it is common for individuals to perform their daily tasks and work with a SCRAM unit installed.

Turning to the prosecution, Judge Wolk asked for Deputy District Attorney Aloysius Patchen’s position on the matter, who agreed with probation, adding this is the accused’s second DUI offense.

The DDA added the first driving offense involved a painkiller, Norco pills, and alcohol, calling it a dangerous combination to consume while driving.

However, Singer clarified the accused’s previous conviction was a “wet reckless” charge, meaning the DUI charge was reduced to reckless driving. And, Singer added, the incident occurred more than five years ago and the accused does not have any other criminal conviction.

Judge Wolk sided with the prosecution, setting a pretrial conference in two weeks to review the SCRAM removal matter.

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