A SCHEME piloted in North Yorkshire to stop offenders drinking alcohol is to be rolled out across the country.

From this winter, courts nationwide will be able to order defendants to wear a "sobriety" ankle tag which will detect if they have drunk alcohol.

If they do, they can be sent back to court and be resentenced, including to a jail term.

The pilot scheme in North Yorkshire, Humberside, Lincolnshire had a 97 per cent success in stopping offenders drinking and 94 per cent of offenders successfully completed the period they had to wear the tag. A similar scheme ran in London.

Researchers said defendants reported that it had a positive impact on their lives, well being and behaviour.

Courts can order defendants to wear the tag for up to 120 days.

It works by monitoring defendants' sweat and is aimed at rehabilitating offenders who offend when they have been drinking.

It will not be used by defendants who are alcohol dependent or have certain other medical conditions.

Crime, policing and justice minister Kit Malthouse MP said: "Smart technologies like sobriety tags not only punish offenders but can help turn their lives around."