An alcohol bracelet, which resembles a Fitbit device, has been launched to monitor how drunk you are to tell your partner if you can consent to sex or not. The Buzz wearable is a wristband which contains a sensor that monitors blood–alcohol concentration through the skin. By syncing the alcohol bracelet with your smart phone, you can get real time health notifications. In addition, if the wearer slips into the ‘red zone’, alerts can be set up to notify a nominated network of friends.
Alcohol bracelet could prevent assaults
Users can share information, such as their location and the level of alcohol in their blood, with friends via the phone app. And two different users (such as daters) can sync-up and share information for the night. Designers say it could be a tool to help prevent sexual assault.
“As a student affairs professional, I recognise that binge drinking can be a safety concern among college students. Real time monitoring of blood alcohol content can serve as a tool to assist students monitor alcohol consumption and help hold students accountable”, says Sharrell Goodman, a Graduate Teaching Assistant from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virgina.
Alcohol bracelets, also known as ‘alcohol tags’ and ‘sobriety tags’ are already being used in the 24/7 Sobriety Project in South Dakota to tackle alcohol-related crime by compelling offenders (including those who were alcohol dependent) to a period of alcohol abstinence.
Ankle bracelet eases prison burden
In a bid to solve its prison overcrowding problem, the Czech Ministry of Justice has started using a long-awaited ankle bracelet system, which will provide better monitoring of prisoners under house arrest.
Czech prison cells are currently holding nearly 22,000 inmates and are operating at 3% over their maximum capacity. The hope is that the bracelets when locked to an offender’s ankle will result in the house arrest concept becoming more efficient. A base station connects with the bracelet to inform the authorities whether the prisoner is at home. Until their introduction, prisoners had only been monitored by personal visits from their probation officer.
Alcohol bracelet cost
The introduction of the ankle bracelets had been held back by a long tender process, where initial price estimates ranged as high as two billion crowns. Speaking at a press conference, Justice Minister Jan Kněžínek said that the ankle bracelet has just been put into use at a significantly lower cost.
“Currently about 50 convicts are wearing the bracelet and number will increase slightly by the end of the day. We expect that the number of convicts using this system will gradually increase to 2500 in the coming years, which, would result in a total cost of CZK 93 million after 6 years of use. This is a diametric difference to the original quoted prices, especially compared to the first tender.”
The police service has warned that the ankle bracelets should not be seen as a panacea for solving the crisis of overfilled prisons, but praised its reliability as a monitoring device.
Milan Dolejší, who works for the Czech Probation and Mediation Service, said that the ankle bracelet device also comes with an optional alcohol tester. The mobile ‘alcotester’ works with the communication device and checks biometric data to make sure the person wearing the alcohol bracelet is the convict.
AlphaBiolabs’ alcohol-testing bracelet is also worn on the ankle and tests for the presence of alcohol in perspiration every 30 minutes. This continuous monitoring device is used in the family law sector to provide local authorities, courts and child-protection agencies with the tools to change behaviours in vulnerable and higher-risk alcohol-dependent clients.