We know that alcoholism can lead to bad behavior. People who binge drink or consume excessive portions of alcohol can often become violent and cause fatalities when they get behind the wheel. So to help combat that, lawmakers in the United Kingdom are implementing a new program that is based on “sobriety tags” (or ankle bracelets that can monitor over-consumption).
The movement was covered on the BBC News site and is getting its initial trial in the region of Wales. The idea would be that offenders convicted of alcohol-related crimes (such as drunk driving and what have you) will now be forced to wear a tag as part of their probation. The technology sits on the ankle and monitors a person’s sweat every 30 minutes. If irregularities are detected, which can be traced back to booze consumption, then the probation staff will receive an alert. Staffers will also receive notices if the tags are tampered with in any way.
The technology is actually quite interesting. The detectors on the device can tell whether the sweat is related to alcohol or some other physical activity, such as running or working out. Sobriety tags can supposedly monitor people’s usage quite precisely, measuring as little as one glass of beer or wine.
Welsh Secretary Simon Hart, who spearheaded the effort, told the BBC that he is very encouraged by the results he has seen so far. Prior to the implementation, the devices went through thorough trial phases and proved to be effective.
“Alcohol can have a devastating impact on lives and figures show that it is a key factor behind far too many crimes,” Hart explained. “I am encouraged to see Wales at the forefront of implementing this new technology.”
During the pilot phase, offenders were shown to be alcohol free more than 97 percent of the days that they were monitored. And for Wales, in particular, alcoholism has become a serious issue. Last year, approximately 39 percent of the violent crimes in that region involved people under the influence.
There is still no word as to whether a program like this will be adopted here in the states, but we are hopeful. Technology has made some major strides in helping the recovery movement thus far and sobriety tags could be a safe and easy way to help further it.