A scheme targeting binge drinkers who commit minor crimes by fitting them with ankle tags that monitor alcohol consumption is to be extended nationwide after a small-scale pilot was hailed as a success. The trial run, which saw 111 offenders in four south London boroughs fitted with the ‘sobriety tags’, saw just over 90% of them reach the mandated 120- day period without drinking. The Ministry of Justice now says it will expand the scheme nationwide. Andrew Selous, the junior justice minister, said the initial results were “very encouraging”.
The tags are based around a 2012 law, which allows courts to order offenders to abstain from alcohol for up to 120 days. They are aimed mainly at binge drinkers who commit offences such as drink driving, resisting arrest, assault and criminal damage while under the influence of alcohol.