A product of SOBERLINK, Inc. and distributed by BI Incorporated, SOBERLINK SL2 is a sleek, handheld device, both cellular and GPS enabled, that allows community corrections agencies to monitor offender sobriety in the community. The SL2 measures an offender’s alcohol content by its concentration in the breath.
The way it works is an offender receives a text message on his or her cell phone, prompting them to provide a breath sample into the SL2 within 15 minutes. As the offender gives the breath sample, the device captures a photo of his or her face, enabling the supervising officer to verify who provided the sample. The SL2 then transmits the offender’s photo, location and breath-alcohol content (BrAC) results to the corrections department.
If the BrAC results reach a certain threshold, the supervising officer receives an alert on his or her cell phone, allowing them to immediately report to the offender’s location and deliver swift sanctions. Depending on the amount of alcohol consumed by the individual, the officer may arrest the offender and revoke home confinement. Similarly, missing a test, attempting to manipulate the device, or being somewhere off limits may result in revocation.
Sam Stowasser, Cabell County’s director of alternative sentencing, praised the SL2’s efficacy and reliability. “I believe this device is a breakthrough in technology and rehabilitation for community corrections,” he said.
Cabell County offenders who use SL2 are required to take four random breath tests per day, but corrections officials have the freedom to add additional tests if they feel it’s necessary.
The majority of participants are second-offense, misdemeanor convicts who would otherwise face the possibility of six months to a year in jail. These offenders are also required to participate in alcohol treatment. Strowasser says that the random alcohol testing provided by SL2 is a significant deterrent to drinking, and that mandatory alcohol treatment helps them overcome their addiction.
By allowing corrections officials to monitor DUI offenders in the community rather than sending them to jail, the SL2 helps relieve jail crowding and associated costs to taxpayers.
BI distributes SL2 to corrections agencies across the country, as well as other sophisticated electronic monitoring devices and programs.