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Reducing the harmful effects of alcohol misuse: the ethics of sobriety testing in criminal justice
  1. David Shaw1,
  2. Karyn McCluskey2,
  3. Will Linden2,
  4. Christine Goodall1
  1. 1Dental School,University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
  2. 2Violence Reduction Unit, Strathclyde Police, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Christine Goodall University of Glasgow, Dental School, 378 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G2 9JZ, UK; christine.goodall{at}


Alcohol use and abuse play a major role in both crime and negative health outcomes in Scotland. This paper provides a description and ethical and legal analyses of a novel remote alcohol monitoring scheme for offenders which seeks to reduce alcohol-related harm to both the criminal and the public. It emerges that the prospective benefits of this scheme to health and public order vastly outweigh any potential harms.

  • Bioethics
  • philosophy of education
  • applied ethics
  • moral philosophy
  • political philosophy
  • prisoners
  • medical ethics
  • artificial insemination and surrogacy
  • cryobanking of sperm
  • ova or embryos
  • embryos and fetuses
  • history of health ethics/bioethics
  • legal aspects
  • government/criminal justice
  • healthcare economics
  • rights
  • law
  • public health ethics

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  • Competing interests The authors are involved in the evaluation of the pilot SCRAM scheme in Glasgow and as such have had some contact with the company that provides the technology (AMS Monitoring Systems, Inc.). KM and WL work at Strathclyde Police's Violence Reduction Unit, which is running the pilot study at the Sheriff Court, and DS and CG work at the University of Glasgow. No financial support has been or will be provided to the authors by the company.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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