Electronic Devices Tell Where You Are And If You’ve Been Drinking
Combining global positioning system (GPS) technology and cellular telephones allows law enforcement officers to monitor the locations and activities of criminal defendants. Monitoring previously occurred using radio frequency (RF) technology that confined defendants to one location, usually their homes, during certain hours. RF involved defendants wearing a transmitter on their ankles that must stay in range of the receiver.
GPS monitoring involves location signals reported via the cellular telephone network every few seconds. However, GPS monitoring only works when cellular signals are strong, and defendants can easily remove the GPS transmitters and run with response never quick enough, says Washington-based Spokane County’s Geiger Corrections Center custody manager Brett Sobosky.
Another technology, which is used by Sobosky, is known as the Sobrietor and prevents people from drinking by requiring hourly breath tests, a voice-recognition system, and other safeguards.
A similar device, known as SCRAM (Secured Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring), uses infrared technology to determine when skin temperature has risen. Rising skin temperature is one sign of alcohol consumption.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Spokane Spokesman-Review (09/12/05) P. A7; Craig, John . .