What is an Alcohol Abstinence and Monitoring Requirement?
The Alcohol Abstinence and Monitoring Requirement (AAMR) is a power given to the courts in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 that allows them to order offenders to abstain from alcohol for a period of up to 120 days and to be regularly tested for compliance.
This is a tool designed to address issues of alcohol misuse, not alcohol dependency, which the courts have long been able to address via an Alcohol Treatment Requirement.
This move follows estimations that around 44% of all violent offences are committed by offenders under the influence of alcohol.
The approach is based on a model from South Dakota, USA but operated following UK legislation, and will operate on a pilot scheme initially from 31 July 2014.
The pilot aims to:
- Test how widely an Alcohol Abstinence and Monitoring Requirement will be used within the Magistrates Court system;
- Test compliance rates with the Requirement; and
- Test the effectiveness of transdermal tags (ankle tags) in monitoring alcohol abstinence
- Target between 100-150 offenders during its course
Alcohol Abstinence and Monitoring Requirements will be piloted in Croydon, Lambeth, Southwark and Sutton.
An AAMR will be available for the courts to impose as part of a Community Order or Suspended Sentence if all of the following criteria are met:
- Consumption of alcohol must be an element of the offence or an associated offence, or a factor that contributed towards the offence being committed
- The offender must not be dependent on alcohol
- Probation staff must carry out pre-court screening, which will include alcohol screening
- The court must not include an Alcohol Treatment Requirement, as these are for dependent drinkers only
- There must be alcohol abstinence monitoring arrangements available in that area
- The offence must have taken place in Southwark, Lambeth, Sutton or Croydon
- The offender must reside in Southwark, Lambeth, Sutton or Croydon
- The offender must have a fixed abode
If the offender fails to submit to monitoring, this will be a breach of the requirement and will be treated as a standard breach of the Community Order or Suspended Sentence.
If you are at risk of an Alcohol Abstinence and Monitoring Requirement and do not believe that this is a suitable penalty for you, call us now to discuss your case on 01623 397200.