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A new scheme rolled out last week will see state-of-the-art sobriety tags used more widely in England. Offenders who commit alcohol-related crimes may now have to wear a SCRAM ankle tag, which measures their alcohol intake every 30 minutes.

Probation officers will be alerted if the sobriety tag detects alcohol, and any breaches could lead to a fine or a further court sentence. Offenders will also receive professional help and support to deal with their drinking problems.

The tags will only be used on criminals over the age of 18, who are not dependent on alcohol or already on an alcohol treatment requirement.

The same scheme was launched in Wales last October and has proven very effective. The Ministry of Justice said that over 100 offenders across Wales were fitted with a sobriety tag, and that they remained sober on more than 95% of the days they were monitored.

The Ministry of Justice also highlighted that 39% of violent crime involves alcohol, and the social and economic cost of drink-related harm is estimated to be around £21.5 billion.

Crime and policing minister Kit Malthouse MP said: “These tags have already brought enormous benefit to Wales since they were introduced in October, with one offender I met saying it not only changed his ways, but also saved his life. This smart and powerful new tool is helping the fight against alcohol-fuelled violence, which ruins too many lives and families and creates mayhem in our town centres.”

Using innovative new technology, the tag can register even very low alcohol consumption of 1-2 units and accurately measures alcohol intake in real time. The tags work 24/7 and can distinguish between alcoholic drinks and other forms of alcohol, such as perfume or hand sanitiser. Fitted with industry-leading anti-tamper technology, the device can also tell if the wearer attempts to remove the tag or block contact between the tag and their skin.

As a leading provider of alcohol testing for legal matters, AlphaBiolabs originally partnered with SCRAM Systems in 2017. Our family law and local authority customers have found that this non-invasive monitoring method is a highly effective way to help enforce sobriety, compliance and accountability.

If you would like to find out more about SCRAM Testing, or any of our other legal alcohol testing services, you can contact our knowledgeable Customer Services team on 0333 600 1300 or email info@alphabiolabs.com.

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