Greater Manchester’s Deputy Police Commissioner thinks that there are better ways to punish those who commit crimes whilst under the influence of alcohol. But what do you think?
Jim Battle, Greater Manchester’s Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, has said that “booze bracelets” may be the way forward to help curb the ever-increasing number of crimes committed by people who are intoxicated.
“Booze bracelets” are a type of wearable tag that monitors if someone has had an alcoholic drink. They could be used as an alternative to prison for anyone who carries out an offence whilst under the influence of alcohol, for example, drink-driving or assault. They would not be used for cases involving domestic violence.
If someone is convicted and sentenced to an alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement they would be required to not drink alcohol for up to four months. The tag would be able to detect when someone drinks any alcohol at all.
The tag works by testing the wearer’s sweat every 30 minutes. If a trace of alcohol is detected, an alert is sent to the offender’s probation officer, and then they can be recalled to court where they could be fined or even jailed.
An offender wearing the “booze bracelet” must return to their home at certain times of day, usually twice a day, so a base station can get readings from the tag and transmit to a monitoring station. If an offender manages 120 days without drinking, they receive no further punishment for their crime beyond a police caution.
The US is already using this type of punishment. Famously, Lindsay Lohan had to wear this type of tag twice for failing to appear for a probation hearing from a drink-driving case, and failing to complete alcohol education classes.
A pilot scheme in London fitted 105 offenders with the bracelets and more than 90% complied with the required conditions. The Government is now looking to see what else these devices could do, including GPS tracking of offenders. They could also be used by family courts, for example in cases where parents’ alcohol dependency is feared to threaten a child’s welfare.
If you have been accused of a crime, drink-related or otherwise, you must call a lawyer straight away, even before you speak to the police. Call our expert team of Criminal Defence Lawyers at Slater and Gordon on freephone 0800 916 9082 or contact us online and we will call you.