Colorado Authorities may use Smartphone App for Drug Offender Monitoring


Following a conviction for a drug or alcohol-related offense in Colorado, many individuals are sentenced to probation. While probation is often preferable to receiving a jail sentence, probation also comes with a number of very strict conditions and rules that you must obey in order to successfully complete your probation. One of these requirements for drug and alcohol offenders is generally to maintain sobriety for a certain amount of time.
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In order to monitor whether or not an offender on probation has successfully remained sober, probation officers often use random drug and alcohol testing. This usually requires a person to report to a law enforcement facility to give a breath, urine, or blood sample to be tested for drugs or alcohol. Offenders may be expected to report at random times, which may interrupt their work, school, or social schedule and may damage their reputation even further. Additionally, having to be available to report at any time can limit an individual’s freedom to move around or plan for the future.

New technology may help offenders

The American Bar Association (ABA) Journal recently reported that probation departments in both Boulder and Montrose County are trying a new form of technology to help monitor the sobriety of offenders without having them constantly report to an agency. A new app for smartphones developed by Outreach Smartphone Monitoring (OSM) may allow individuals to complete randomly ordered breath tests on the spot, no matter where they are located. So authorities can ensure that the offender is not simply having another person take the test for them, the app records a video as the offender uses the breathalyzer device designed for the app. Additionally, each app can only have one device associated with it, so another person would not be able to use a separate device off-camera.

In addition to breath test and video functions, the app provides features to assist offenders with keeping their sobriety and lives on track. Such features include connections with counselors, employment agencies, shelters, and other housing assistance programs. The app will also keep offenders reminded of court dates and other obligations so they can successfully complete their probation. All in all, the app may not only provide drug and alcohol offenders with less stringent requirements for random reporting, but may also encourage them to stay on track throughout their probation.

If you are facing drug charges, you should always have the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney in Denver. Skilled defense lawyer Jay Tiftickjian is thoroughly familiar with Colorado drug laws and stays on top of any new developments or options for potential offenders, such as smartphone monitoring programs. These new developments may significantly improve the quality of a convicted offender’s life and may allow you to have more freedom even after a drug or alcohol conviction. Additionally, Mr. Tiftickjian will fight to avoid conviction in the first place whenever possible in your case. If you want to know how we can help you, please call today at 303-DUI-5280 to speak with a criminal defense attorney.

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