Mandatory sobriety tags for offenders

Mandatory sobriety tags for offenders

Scotland is to introduce ‘sobriety tags’ for offenders who commit alcohol-fuelled crimes.

Offenders guilty of such crimes will have to wear the tags upon their release. The devices will trigger an alarm if the wearer has a drink during their probation period.

The move is an attempt to cut reoffending and follows similar plans south of the border where offenders will have to wear tags for up to a year after their release.

The technology monitors sweat and alerts probation officers if alcohol is detected. Attempts to remove the device will also trigger an alert.

Scottish government estimates show that 44 per cent of violent crimes in 2019-20 involved offenders who were under the influence of alcohol.

A Scottish government spokesman said: “Progress has been made towards expanding electronic monitoring use across a broader range of licences and community orders and development of the technological capabilities, including exploring use of remote alcohol monitoring, will follow as soon as practically possible.”

Jamie Greene, the Scottish Conservatives justice spokesman, said: “Any advancement in how we monitor offenders is worthy of consideration. However, nothing replaces core frontline services. Drug and alcohol services have been slashed under the SNP over the last decade.”

Alison Douglas, chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland, commented: “Alcohol is a factor in just over two fifths of violent crimes in Scotland. The use of sobriety tags must be part of a broader programme of support for offenders to address their drinking problems.”

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