The new legislation on so-called 'sobriety ankle tags' used to monitor sweat came into full force from May 2020 in England and Wales.
As a result, the alcohol tag scheme means offenders of alcohol-fuelled crime can be banned from drinking and may receive further sanctions.
The new rules on ankle tags follow two successful pilot schemes. Under the alcohol-monitoring scheme:
So, what is an alcohol-monitoring ankle bracelet and how does it work? Often called SCRAM bracelets in America - SCRAM stands for Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring.
Ankle tags provide a way for courts to monitor criminals who have committed alcohol-fuelled crime. Some 2,000 offenders will have bracelets fitted so courts can track whether they are drinking alcohol.
Electronic tags conduct around-the-clock monitoring of perspiration from offenders who are wearing them. This is how a device determines whether alcohol has been consumed - or not.
Drinking an alcoholic beverage would be in breach of the alcohol abstinence order. This means the offender can be returned to the court and be liable for further sanctions, which can include:
The previous pilot schemes took place across London, Humberside, Lincolnshire, and North Yorkshire. The results showed that on 97% of the days they were monitored, the offenders were alcohol free.
The principle aim of these tough community sentences is to punish the worst offenders and rehabilitate them by addressing the causes of their alcohol-related conduct.
In highlighting other important issues, the Crime, Policing and Justice Minister also pointed out:
Official estimates issued by the Office for National Statistics suggest people who are drunk are responsible for committing two out of every five violent crimes.
If you were wondering:
The smart technology is capable of distinguishing between different types of alcohol-based products (e.g. hand sanitiser). It can also detect if the user attempts to block the space between the wearer's skin and the electronic tag.
Note: The Office for National Statistics (ONS) produce further information about the nature of violent crime in England and Wales.
Sobriety Tagging System Rolls Out in the United Kingdom