Alcohol Ankle Monitors: Are They Legal and How Do They Work?

Alcohol Ankle Monitors: Are They Legal and How Do They Work?

Alcohol Ankle Monitors: Are They Legal and How Do They Work?

Similar to ignition interlock devices, alcohol ankle monitors help courts keep an eye on people who committed DUIs. You may wonder if they are legal in Oklahoma, and how they work. If an ankle monitor could be part of your DUI sentence, you probably have many questions.

Is an alcohol monitoring bracelet legal in Oklahoma?

The laws in Oklahoma do not specifically mention alcohol ankle monitors or bracelets. However, use of these devices has become increasingly popular. In the past, the court could order that a person convicted of DUI not consume any alcohol. To enforce the court order, a parole officer would conduct alcohol monitoring checks. These might occur in person with a breathalyzer at the parole office, or at an independent lab. Instead of in-person checks, some parole officers and even drug court programs have starting using ankle monitors. An alcohol ankle monitor automates alcohol checks, saving time and manpower.

How does the bracelet work?

These bracelets work through use of transdermal sampling technology. They take samples of the wearer’s sweat and check it for alcohol levels. If sweat has an alcohol content translating to consumption above the legal limit, the bracelet’s upload records will alert the provider. The provider then alerts the parole officer or court system.

The wearer must upload bracelet records to the provider frequently so it can check for alcohol levels. Uploads can be completed over a home telephone line or with a cell phone. Bracelets are worn 24 hours a day. They have several design elements that indicate if a wearer has tampered with the bracelet. Some bracelets can act as “house arrest” devices too.

Although wearers may value the convenience of wearing a bracelet instead of reporting in person for frequent alcohol checks, these devices are extremely expensive and invasive. Many have concerns about false positives on the bracelets due to environmental factors or medical conditions.

Are there alternative monitoring systems?

Yes, there are alternative monitoring systems such as the ignition interlock device or the random breath testing device. The different devices have different advantages and disadvantages for people convicted of DUI.

Usually courts order repeat DUI offenders to wear alcohol monitoring bracelets. Wearing one may be a condition of probation, parole, or an early release arrangement. Using alcohol and testing positive may send the wearer back to jail. Talk to your attorney about whether agreeing to use an alcohol ankle bracelet could catch you a break in sentencing.

Has the court told you that you must wear an alcohol monitoring bracelet due to your DUI conviction? Clint Patterson, Esq., of Patterson Law Firm, a former Tulsa prosecutor now using his trial experience and expert-level knowledge of DUI science to defend drivers, assesses his clients’ best options for defenses and sentencing. To schedule a case evaluation, visit Patterson Law Firm online or call Clint’s office at (918) 550-9175.