New Breathalyzer May Make Alcohol Monitoring Easier

 
 

Probation officers across South Texas will soon be embracing new technology as a way to keep tabs on DWI offenders. A new portable breathalyzer, the SoberLink, will enable officers to administer tests and learn the offender's location at any time during the day. The device can also take a user's picture, and the built in GPS device provides the location of where the test was taken.

Unlike ignition interlock devices, Soberlink provides a number of user conveniences that make BAC testing easier and discreet. It includes text message reminders for testing, real time testing reports, as well as a web portal with detailed instructions. Users will pay on average $80 per month in operating costs for the device. Soberlink is currently being used on a limited basis, but it could be used regularly as law enforcement looks for different ways to monitor offenders.

With rising budget cuts, client loads for probation officers have steadily risen. In Nueces County, Adult Probation Director Javed Syed explained to KZTV News that some officers have as many as 140 offenders to monitor. As such, the Soberlink provides an accurate, cost-effective way to ensure that clients are following the terms of their probation.

Under Texas law, drivers face a number of penalties for refusing alcohol breath tests, including license suspension. However, if alcohol monitoring is part of a court order, offenders risk violating their probation agreement if they do not meet their testing requirements. Probation violations could result jail time and further penalties.

If you have questions about your probation requirements, or are facing revocation, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to learn about your rights and options.