A DNA testing company based in Westbrook is expanding into Ireland after obtaining sole distribution rights for a device which detects alcohol through a person’s sweat.

The SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring ankle bracelet – dubbed the ‘sobriety tag’ – is designed to tackle excessive drinking and is used by authorities, courts and child protection agencies to support treatment and enhance supervision for their clients.

AlphaBiolabs introduced the SCRAM CAM into the UK in 2017 and will be launching the device in Ireland after establishing a base in Dublin.

Rachel Davenport, commercial director of AlphaBiolabs, said: "We are growing our business in Ireland in all of our markets, so it makes sense to offer SCRAM CAM too.

"It’s a non-invasive method of testing which is ideal for those who dread blood tests, injections and needles.

"Samples are taken every half hour around the clock, seven days a week.

"It’s the most accurate and comprehensive method of measuring alcohol on the market.

"Unlike breathalysers, which provide a snapshot measurement, and hair strand analysis, which gives an historic overview over several months, SCRAM CAM allows real-time, continuous monitoring."

Once alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream, some of it is eliminated through the skin in the form of sweat.

The bracelet is fitted with a pump which takes in a sample of this.

SCRAM CAM can also distinguish between consumed alcohol that metabolises through the skin, and alcohol which has been spilled or is contained in a product sprayed around the bracelet, such as hairspray.

Rachel added: “SCRAM CAM has been shown to have a significant impact on changing behaviours in vulnerable and higher-risk alcohol dependent adults.

“Continuous monitoring has been shown to enforce participant sobriety, compliance and accountability.”