Pounding head, farts for burps and a big old black bracelet around your ankle – this could be the new hangover triumvirate of doom for boozy Londoners, thanks to a high-tech scheme launched by Boris Johnson this week.
The Mayor’s latest plan for curbing alcohol-related offences involves electronically tagging drunken offenders, forcing them into sobriety for 120 days. The tags, which are due to be trialled on 150 offenders in south London over the next 12 months, measure alcohol levels in the wearer’s ankle sweat and alert the authorities the moment they get back on the sauce.
The scheme is already in use in the US, where, according to psychiatry expert Keith Humphreys, it’s had a ‘transformative effect’ on booze-related crime.
Boris was keen to reiterate the success of the tags, saying: ‘This is an approach that has seen impressive results in the US, steering binge drinkers away from repeated criminal behaviour, and I am pleased we can now launch a pilot scheme in London.’
So the next time you’re on the lash and get the sudden urge to lob a traffic cone into a hedge, think about those long, dull, three months of forced abstinence. Personally, we’d prefer prison time.
By David Clack