‘Sobriety tags’ are being rolled out from today, for prisoners who commit offences while under the influence of alcohol. The tags, which monitor the user’s alcohol consumption through their perspiration, will be used on criminals who have been banned from drinking. Further sanctions will be put in place if offenders continue to drink.

In two pilot areas, offenders were alcohol free on 97% of the days monitored.  Wearers also reported a positive impact on their lives, wellbeing and behaviour.

Courts will be able to order offenders to wear a tag for up to 120 days. The tough community sentence not only punishes offenders but aids their rehabilitation by forcing them to address the causes of their behaviour –  in turn helping to reduce alcohol-related harm.

The technology works by fitting a tag around the ankle of an offender. This then samples their sweat every half-hour to determine whether alcohol has been consumed. They can distinguish between alcohol-based products, such as hand sanitiser, that could be used to mask alcohol consumption and can detect when contact between the skin and the tag has been blocked.

You can read more about these tags on the Gov.uk website.