North Carolina authorizes the use of continuous alcohol monitoring systems (CAM) to monitor the alcohol use of someone on probation for the most serious DWI. The CAM is placed on a person’s ankle and transmits readings that indicate alcohol use. This was authorized five years ago to be used as a condition of probation although it use as part of DWI probation has been limited to use in Level One DWI. Last year NC passed an act known as Laura’s Law which included abstinence from alcohol as a condition of probation under an Aggravated Level One DWI punishment. This abstinence from alcohol is to be verified through CAM readings for at least 120 days. Judges were authorized to require CAM for the term of probation for a Level One or Two DWI under this act as well.
Effective December 1, 2012, North Carolina has expanded authorization for the CAM in DWI sentencing this year through enacting S.L. 2012-146 (H 494). The act broadens the use of the CAM not only in DWI sentencing but also other criminal offenses. As a condition of pretrial release someone may be required to abstain from alcohol which will be monitored through use of the CAM. The new act gives probation officers greater authority to assign and monitor the use of the CAM on DWI offenders. Additionally a court may now assign the use of CAM to monitor alcohol use if a person’s driver’s license has previously been revoked due to DWI.
The problem with the CAM system is that the offender may be required to bear the costs of the system. The new act does not appear to answer the question of what a judge will do if an offender cannot afford the CAM under punishments which require the use of it. This may prove to be a flaw in the act which may render it ineffective for its purpose of broadening punishment as judicial officials’ may have problems enforcing a punishment on someone who cannot afford its costs.
Our attorneys have experience handling DWI cases in NC and will work tirelessly to defend your case. Contact one of our attorneys directly by calling 704-499-9000 or toll free 877-374-5999. You will be glad you did. Don’t worry. We are here to help.