Drunk criminals will be fitted with ‘sobriety tags’ to tell police if they drink

Drunk criminals could be fitted with sobriety tags to let police know whether they are drinking while banned.

The move has already been rolled out in Wales, where electronic devices are being fitted to offenders from today.

They allow forces to be notified of anybody who is breaking court-imposed abstinence orders, Daily Mail reports.

Home Office Minister Kit Malthouse likened the scheme to putting a "police officer on every criminal's shoulder".

The tags will be rolled out across England in spring next year, with gyroscopic devices that flag speeders who are driving also a possibility.

This would mean that dangerous drivers, especially those previously caught at more than 100mph face monitoring.

Mr Malthouse also plans to force convicted burglars to wear GPS tags that track them after their release from prison.

He wants up to 2,000 sobriety tags in use at a time in a scheme that will cost £45million over a decade.

Compliance is expected to have a 94 per cent success rate based on pilot programmes.

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The devices analyse chemicals in the criminals' sweat every 30 minutes.

Should alcohol be detected, they send an alert to the offender's probation officers.

And the technology is so precise that it can tell the difference between weak drinks such as beer and stronger ones like spirits.

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Breaches would drag the offender back to court and could mean further jail time.

Abstinence orders can be applied to anybody aged over 18 who is convicted of an alcohol-related disorder or domestic violence.

But it cannot be used against people who are diagnosed as alcoholics.

Right now courts can order the wearing of a sobriety tag for up to 120 days, but Mr Malthouse may expand that to 12 months.

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