Four London boroughs, Croydon, Lambert, Sutton and Southwork are set to be involved in a trail involving ‘sobriety tags’. The trails are said to involve 100-150 offenders that have been given alcohol limits or bans due to constantly breaking the law whilst drink including repeat drink driving offenders.
The electronic tags – usually attached to the ankles – will record the wearer’s alcohol intake by measuring the sweat emissions from the skin every half an hour. If offenders are found to have broken their drinking ban then a message will be sent to their probation officer and they could find themselves in front of a judge facing further sanctions.
The Major of London who announced the scheme said the aim was to reduce crime. Boris Johnson said “Alcohol- fuelled criminal behaviour is a real scourge on our high streets, deterring law-abiding citizens from enjoying our great city, especially at night, placing massive strain on frontline services, whilst costing businesses and the taxpayer billions of pounds”.
He also went on to say “I pledged to tackle this booze culture by making the case to Government for new powers to allow mandatory alcohol testing as an addition enforcement option for the courts”.
Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary said it was an “intriguing project” that could tackle the root cause of alcohol related crime and if the trial is successful it could well be rolled out across the UK.
Alcohol related crime is a huge cost to the UK and places a heavy burden on the public services with research by Alcohol Concern stating that 40% of A&E attendances at the weekend are related to alcohol misuse and a more startling 70% of attendances between midnight and 5am are alcohol-related.
The Department for Transport said that 6,680 car accidents in 2012 were linked to alcohol consumption, and in that year 290 people were killed in alcohol related road traffic accidents.
A spokesman for Accident Advice Helpline, a leading law firm in the UK said “There are still too many deaths each year caused by drink driving – 17% of all reported fatalities – something needs to be done to reduce these statistics. Hopefully re-offending criminals might learn that their actions will not go unnoticed. The trials have already been a success in America so it’s time we followed their lead and help to reduce the horrific stats in relation to deaths and injuries caused in road accidents”.
You can call Accident Advice Helpline at any time on 0800 689 7221 to speak to an advisor if you’ve been involved in an accident. They will be able to let you know if you are entitled to make a compensation claim for your injury and talk you through the process.