Lincolnshire

'Sobriety tag': Grimsby offender says trial changed his life

Man wearing sobriety tag
Image caption The tags detect alcohol in the wearer's sweat

A man who was sentenced to wear a so-called sobriety tag for three months after committing an offence says it changed his life.

The man, from the Grimsby area, said wearing the tag, which monitors if a person has a drink, made him realise alcohol was a problem for him.

It was part of a two-year trial across Lincolnshire, Humberside and North Yorkshire.

Officials said the scheme had returned positive results.

As part of the trial, courts were able to require offenders to wear tags as part of community or suspended sentences for certain crimes committed while under the influence of alcohol.

If the tag detects alcohol in the system, probation services are alerted and the individual could be sent back to court.

The man, who took part in the trial after he was sentenced for making threats with a weapon, said prior to the order he was becoming "a nasty, horrible, person".

"It made me realise alcohol was the main problem in my life," he said.

He said the tag helped prevent him drinking because of the threat of going to jail if he failed to comply.

"I'm now stronger, more positive and thinking better," he added.

Over the course of the pilot 226 people were issued with a tag, with 94% successfully completing the order made by the courts.

More than half were from Lincolnshire, and a similar trial in London claimed 92% of those tagged complied with the order.

Project manager Jenny Drury said she was pleased with the results.

The idea was to deliver "a period of abstinence" for people convicted of offences where alcohol was a key factor, she said.

In addition, "meaningful intervention" was offered to help address issues connected to alcohol misuse.

She said there were now plans to roll out the scheme on a nationwide basis.

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