Special ankle bracelet against alcohol abuse is introduced nationwide in the Netherlands

Special ankle bracelet against alcohol abuse is introduced nationwide in the Netherlands



The alcohol ankle bracelet is introduced nationally. This was reported by Minister Grapperhaus of Justice and Security. This "alcohol meter" is intended for people who have done something punishable under the influence of alcohol and therefore have an alcohol prohibition.

The alcohol meter proved to be a reliable means of checking compliance with the alcohol prohibition during tests, helping to prevent abuse, committing crimes and drink-driving. The minister wrote this today in a letter to the House of Representatives.

Grapperhaus: “ Many violent crimes are committed under the influence of alcohol, such as violence when going out, football or in a domestic atmosphere. The ankle bracelet is an effective way to change behavior. That's why I want it to be deployed nationwide."


People who are convicted may be subject to an alcohol ban as a special condition. Compliance is now monitored by the probation service on average twice a week through a breathalyzer, blood or urine test. According to the minister, wearing a special ankle bracelet works a lot more efficiently. "It is now a snapshot, so that the alcohol ban can be violated in the meantime."

At the initiative of the GGZ Addiction Probation Foundation,

the Public Prosecution Service and the Ministry of Justice and Security, the functioning of the alcohol meter has been tested in pilots since 2017. "This is important because the social damage from alcohol abuse, including the involvement of the police and the judiciary and the damage caused by road accidents, is estimated at 2.3 to 4.2 billion euros per year. Together with the financial consequences for people through loss of quality of life and even premature death, the social damage will amount to 6.1 billion euros."

This is how the alcohol meter works 

  • An alcohol meter or alcohol bracelet is worn 24 hours a day. 
  • Every half hour, perspiration is absorbed and measured whether it contains alcohol. 
  • At least once a day, the carrier must ensure that it is close to the base station so that the data can be forwarded. 
  • The addiction probation can then see on the computer whether someone has been drinking and if so how much. 
  • Currently, about 500 people are under the supervision of the probation service because they have been banned from alcohol.


The carriers are generally positive about the influence of the alcohol meter. For example, 74 percent of wearers say that wearing the ankle strap has had a positive impact on their alcohol consumption. In addition, the measurements of the alcohol meter show that 71 percent did not drink during the wearing period, while some of them were allowed to in principle. No alcohol was measured for the total of all wearers on 92 percent of the days that the meter was worn. Even after wearing, the device seems to have a positive influence on drinking behavior. For example, more than half of the carriers indicate that they did not drink in those three months three months after removing the alcohol meter.

The biggest disadvantage of the ankle strap is the size and therefore the wearing comfort. The wearers find the alcohol meter too big and too stiff. Some experience itching, irritated skin or bruises. The supplier will therefore test a new bracelet this year.

The ankle bracelet costs 432.90 euros per year..