London Tests 'Sobriety Tags' On Alcohol-Related Offenders

London launched a program to test ankle bracelets that detect if a person has been drinking while on probation for an alcohol-related crime.

London Tests 'Sobriety Tags' On Alcohol-Related Offenders
SCRAM Systems

London is testing out ankle bracelets that can detect if a person is still drinking after being ordered not to.

The program, launched by London Mayor Boris Johnson targets people who commit minor crimes while under the influence, such as drunk-driving or assault. ITV reports it's not intended for alcoholics or those who might suffer withdrawal symptoms when going through a sobriety period. (Via ITV)

The bracelets, which will go through a one-year trial period, measure a person's sweat every thirty minutes to see if he or she has been drinking. If the device registers a violation or or somebody tampering with it, an alert is sent to the person's probation officer. (Via SCRAM Systems)

The device is already being used in the United States where it already has it's own celebrity sponsor - well, in the form of Lindsay Lohan being ordered to wear one. (Via Daily Mirror)

According to a release, Johnson based his plan on the devices' use in the U.S., where a former White House Drug advisor said it had "a transformative effect on alcohol-fuelled crime."

Northamptonshire was the first in the U.K. to try out the program and three people were fitted with the device in May. (Via Northamptonshire Telegraph)

In the London trial, up to 150 people convicted of alcohol related crimes will be banned from drinking for up to 120 days and fitted with the device. (Via SCRAM Systems)

The Daily Star reports the first person in London has already been ordered to wear the tag for 80 days after pleading guilty to charges of using abusive language and provoking unlawful violence. 

However, a spokesperson for Alcohol Concern told The Guardian the device isn't treating the bigger picture. "The alcohol detection tag is a good idea and worth trying, but to work effectively it's important that people are given support and access to treatment to truly help them tackle their drinking problems."

If an offender in London is busted by the device, he or she could receive a warning or be forced to return to court and potentially face further punishment.