The Benefits of Ankle Monitors: Was the defendant really riding his bicycle on the freeway at 75 MPH?

“Court Case Friday”

When GPS ankle monitors were new, the companies were anxious to gain credibility with the judges. If the judges weren’t “sold,” their business could fail.

My first use of a GPS ankle monitor was entertaining. The defendant had a long rap sheet of misdemeanor cases. Basically, he kept driving on a suspended driver’s license. 

I agreed to release him from jail. I placed him on home confinement with GPS monitoring. I also specifically ordered him not to drive.

At the defendant’s first progress report the prosecutor and defense attorney were in my chambers along with the company representative. I asked the defense attorney where he client was. He said that since his client couldn’t drive, he was riding his bike to court, and he would be late.

The company rep opened his lap top computer and interjected. “Excuse me, your honor.  The GPS tracking monitor shows that, at this moment, the defendant is traveling northbound on the 405 Freeway at 75 mph.”

I looked at the defense attorney and said, “I guess you are going to tell me that your client is a world class speed cyclist.”

When the defendant arrived, I took him into custody and put him back in jail. He was committing crimes faster than we could resolve them.

I was “sold” on the product.

Ankle monitors have come a long way. Some models are almost impossible to remove without amputating the foot. With the added GPS system, if the defendant absconds, we could still track his whereabouts.

Continuous Alcohol Monitoring Devises

Another addition is Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (CAM). Alcohol is a drug

It is classified as a central nervous system suppressant. The body treats alcohol like a toxic substance and tries to expel it through the breath, urine, and perspiration.   The newer ankle monitors can detect the presence of alcohol from the sweat. 

This is a great tool. Before, if the drunk driver or alcoholic were place on house arrest, they could get drunk whenever they wanted. But that did nothing to solve the underlying problem. If the defendant agrees to consume no alcohol, the CAM is a great tool.

Post Script: Current Bicycle Speed Record 183 MPH

The current bicycle speed record is over 183 MPH, set on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in 2018. The rider was unhooked from a speeding car and stayed in the slipstream.

The average speed for beginners is 13 MPH.

The average speed for professionals is 25-28 MPH.

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