Alcohol Monitoring

In-home Alcohol Testing

In-home breath alcohol testing systems offered by iSECUREtrac enable corrections agencies to monitor an offender's breath alcohol levels remotely, rather than requiring an on-site test. Additionally, the systems verify the offender's location and identity at the time of testing.

How Breath Alcohol Tests Work

Breath alcohol testers (BATs) depend on the blood alcohol to breath alcohol ratio. This ratio describes the relationship between the alcohol content of the breath and the alcohol content of blood at any given time.

To obtain an accurate reading of a person's alcohol content with breath alcohol testers, one must sample a person's deep lung air. If deep lung air is not exhaled into the device, the sample breath could be diluted with a lower alcohol concentration. Instruments usually require a person to blow for a minimum amount of time to ensure the air is captured from the deep lungs.

The alcohol found in alcoholic beverages is ethyl alcohol, also known as ethanol. Breath alcohol levels are tested using a fuel cell. Each end of the fuel cell has two platinum electrodes that are connected with a wire. When a breath sample is introduced to the fuel cell, the platinum causes a chemical reaction that generates an electrical-current. The current passes from one end of the fuel cell to the other. A voltage meter measures the strength of the current. The higher the current, the more alcohol in the breath.

In-home Breath Alcohol Systems from iSECUREtrac

iSECUREtrac offers both the MEMS 2000 and MEMS 3000 systems. Depending upon which system the agency selects, either the monitoring host computer automatically calls the participant, giving him/her clear instructions OR the testing schedule loaded into the unit automatically alerts the participant to begin the test procedure. The procedure requires that the participant blow into a disposable straw on the 2000VB or 3000VB HomeStation. Breath Alcohol Test results are transmitted to the monitoring center host through standard phone lines. As an extra layer of precaution, the HomeStation also photographs the participant at the time of testing and relays the image to a monitoring center. Original photographs, provided by the agency, are used to verify participant identity. Appropriate action is taken if the participant fails the alcohol test, the photos don't match, or the participant fails to comply with breath alcohol testing parameters.

Breath alcohol testing is accurate to within +/- .005% of actual blood alcohol levels and is accepted as reliable, court admissible evidence. Law enforcement and corrections agencies often prefer visual verification technology over voice verification systems because of the increased difficulty of circumvention.

Advantages of in-home alcohol testing systems from iSECUREtrac include:

  • In-home testing of individuals who may not have convenient access to a central testing facility.
  • A proven alcohol testing methodology that yields court admissible evidence.
  • The ability to select from two, time-tested reliable systems designed to meet agency program parameters and budget.

Most agencies use a combination of systems in their community supervision programs. To determine which iSECUREtrac systems (Ultra-Active GPS, Active GPS, Passive GPS, House Arrest and Alcohol Monitoring) are most appropriate for your agency, it’s recommended that you and your iSECUREtrac representative discuss supervision goals, the risk to public safety from individuals participating in the program, and other program parameters.

For more information or to request an on-site demo of iSECUREtrac systems, services and software, email or call toll-free 866.537.0022.