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Ankle Bracelets Would Detect Alcohol for Repeat DUI Offenders

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This week, the County Board of Supervisors agreed to look into requiring repeat drunk drivers to wear alcohol-detecting ankle bracelets. Supervisors hope the bracelets will protect the public from drunk drivers who refuse to change. Full Focus reporter Amita Sharma has the story.

The County Board of Supervisors appears to like the idea. This week, they agreed to look into requiring drunken drivers who are repeat offenders to wear alcohol-detecting ankle bracelets.

The half-pound ankle bracelet can tell if a person’s been drinking through perspiration. In 2004, more than 1400 people were killed in accidents involving drunk drivers. People convicted of driving under the influence usually have their licenses suspended unless a judge gives them restricted permission to drive to work. Supervisor Diane Jacob said the goal of the alcohol detecting bracelets is to protect the public from drunk drivers who refuse to change.

Diane Jacob : Some 25 percent or one-fourth of people arrested for DUIs in our county have prior DUI arrests. These repeat offenders must be stopped and this is an excellent way to do that.

The device has backing among many people whose lives have been scarred by drunk drivers. Luann Howard’s 14-year-old nephew was killed after being hit by a drunk man driving a truck. The man had been arrested twice before for DUIs and was driving without a license.

Luann Howard: Iplead with you to implement this GPS system because if it was in place in 2004, maybe the offender would have been supervised more closely and would not have been able to drive on that particular night and my nephew would still be alive. Any new technology that is available to keep drunk drivers off the roads which would save lives is something that I would support and I hope you would do the same.

Several cities in California and the nation have already started using the bracelets. The Board of Supervisors is likely to make a decision on whether to purchase the devices for local use within the next two months.

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