Lohan style ankle monitors for Scottish booze hounds

Gangbusters will force thugs to wear booze band if

they want to stay out of jail

BOOZE tags revealing if thug offenders have been drinking will be launched in Scotland.

The tags have already been fitted to 200,000 convicts in the US – including Hollywood stars like wild child actress Lindsay Lohan.

And an executive from Scotland’s Violence Reduction Unit will go to the States this week to meet the makers in Colorado.

The Scots team hope the bracelets can help cut the country’s shocking levels of drink-related violent crime.

The £850 tags – Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring, or Scram for short – are kept on the offender’s ankle for 24 hours a day and are mainly used in the US for drink drivers.

But in Scotland they will be offered as an alternative to prison for people whose drinking was a factor in violent offences.

Data from the tag is sent remotely to a computer and, if alcohol is detected, the system alerts the authorities.

If offenders break the booze curfew imposed by the court they will arrested, taken to court, then jailed.

Violence Reduction Unit co-director Chief Supt John Carnochan said: “Alcohol-related violence is a huge problem for Scotland and we are fully supportive of all measures to tackle it, including the use of minimum pricing (for alcohol).

“However, we know some people will require more intensive action and support in order to help them curb persistent violent behaviour related to drinking.

“We are in the middle of developing a project with a range of partners – government, alcoholism services, health, police etc – which will help with the problem and will make an announcement in due course.”

Company vice-president Chris Stites said: “Scram helps law enforcement agencies track the alcohol consumption of previous offenders 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“It provides accurate monitoring of an offender’s alcohol consumption. Scram also detects any attempts to tamper with or remove the bracelet.”

Lohan made the tag famous in 2007 when she agreed to wear it as part of her treatment for excessive drinking.

Representatives from Alcohol Monitoring Systems will come to Scotland with the first batch of bracelets for testing.

And the Violence Reduction Unit, based in Glasgow, hope to have a pilot project running later this year, using people convicted of violent drink-related crimes.

If successful, the scheme is expected to be introduced across Scotland.

The alcohol bracelet scheme already has the approval of the Scottish government, the courts, the Crown Office and even defence and human rights lawyers.

But it has not yet been decided how the project will be funded.

Alcohol is thought to be a factor in up to half of all violent crime in Scotland.

Drunkenness and the crime it causes costs every Scottish taxpayer £900 a year.

Strathclyde Chief Constable Stephen House has said: “If there was no alcohol, violent crime would drop by at least 50 per cent. In fact, probably by more than half.”