Police Forces Trial Sobriety Tags to Keep Tabs on Offenders' Boozing

By Gary Cutlack on at

People who turn bad after a few drinks might soon be made to wear alcohol-detecting sobriety tags, as three UK police forces test the idea of enforcing no-booze rehab schemes on offenders.

Lincolnshire Police is heading the trial, which also covers Humberside and North Yorkshire policing divisions. The units measure alcohol levels in the wearer's sweat, with the Continuous Alcohol Monitoring tags apparently good to work for 120 days at a time. The idea isn't necessarily to punish people for slipping into the odd reassuring, warming pint of Baileys at the end of a tough morning, but is supposed to be used as an assistance tool to help get out of bad alcohol habits.

And yes, you're probably already thinking about ways in which the system can be defeated. Device manufacturer Scram Systems says previous users in other trials have attempted to obstruct or game the tests by inserting chicken meat, spam and condoms between the tag and the skin, although it has detectors in place that are supposedly able to tell when something's not right or human. [BBC]

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