‘Sobriety tags’ that ban alcohol-fuelled criminals from drinking come into force today

‘Sobriety tags’ that detect if offenders drink come into force in England today. Here’s how they will work

Bottles of alcohol in a bar

From today (Tuesday) criminals who commit alcohol-fuelled crime could be banned from drinking and made to wear ‘sobriety tags’.

New legislation comes into force today which will see ankle tags used in England and Wales to monitor the alcohol intake of offenders.

The Government say:

The tags perform around-the-clock monitoring of an offender’s sweat to determine whether alcohol has been consumed.

If they drink – breaching their alcohol abstinence order – they can be returned to court for further sanctions. These might range from a fine, extending the length of the order or in some cases imprisonment.

Courts will be able to order offenders to wear a tag for up to 120 days. The tough community sentence not only punishes offenders but aids their rehabilitation by forcing them to address the causes of their behaviour –  in turn helping to reduce alcohol-related harm.

sobriety ankle tag and no drinking sign
© UK Gov

The scheme was piloted across Humberside, Lincolnshire and North Yorkshire, as well as in London.

Crime, Policing and Justice Minister Kit Malthouse MP said:

“Alcohol-fuelled crime blights communities and puts an unnecessary strain on our frontline services.

“Smart technologies like sobriety tags not only punish offenders but can help turn their lives around.

“While prison will always be the right place for many criminals, tough community sentences like this can help cut reoffending and protect the public.”

Image: mshipp under CC BY 2.0

Tuesday, 19th May, 2020 8:49am


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Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Law & Order, Police, Top story

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11 Comments on "‘Sobriety tags’ that ban alcohol-fuelled criminals from drinking come into force today"

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Prison officers used to say that those released from the Camphill local prison, largely populated by young men, without any supervision would not last a day before getting drunk, getting into trouble again, and ending up back in Camphill. Far more effective than ‘sobriety tagging’ would be planned and monitored release for every prisoner. Instead of leaving them at the prison gates to fend for themselves, how… Read more »
WOW… based on the unprecedented success of ankle tags for offenders, and the HUGE amount of court cases where massive fines and long Prison sentences have been handed out for breaking the terms of Tagging, one can only rejoice that the days of drunken abusive idiots is over, and we can walk safely on the streets once more….. Honest.. Trust me.. research has shown it will/might/could/might not… Read more »

Nothing like a bit of, ‘law and order’, metered out to the plebs to show you are in control, as your political Party falls apart.


It won’t stop most until they end up in prison… Good idea for those persistent drink drivers too


Yes, that will work! They can’t even enforce the sobriety rules in S.A. Lifehouse.

Mark L Francis
The question is – how reliable is it? If it detects excess sweating then how can it be known this is due to alcohol consumption & not, say, jogging? And once the possibility is there, every taggee is going to claim it was a false reading. One would hope this has been sufficiently trialled to make sure that this cannot happen, but it would not be the… Read more »

Yer ‘aving a laugh?

It’s not April the first yet


Sounds very much like the kind of policy you’d get from a pint sized Home Secretary


If the criminal commits an offence while breathing, will they be also banned from taking in oxygen?