Alcohol ankle monitors on trial

Addiction specialists allied to the national probation service are running experiments to find out if special ankle devices which monitor alcohol consumption could be useful in dealing with alcoholics.

Twelve people have been fitted with the monitor to assess its suitability to be incorporated into the legal system.

The probation service wants to use the monitors for people who have been banned from drinking by the courts. Breathalysers and urine tests only measure the previous 12 hours.

The monitor measures if the offender has drunk alcohol by analysing their sweat. A test is carried out automatically every 30 minutes. The system has been in use in the US for people convicted of alcohol-related crimes for several years.

The 12 guinea pigs have different levels of consumption and will wear the monitor for a week. Some are reporting their experiences on Twitter. One, Farida Lamrini, told how she was followed by a shop assistant even though she had explained the monitor was for an experiment.

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