AB Kiosk biometrics adopted for mandatory alcohol control by U.S. tribal authority
Acoma Pueblo in central New Mexico has adopted the Automated Breathalyzer (AB) Kiosk System – a fully automated biometrics-based system – for the mandatory monitoring of alcohol and other procedures such as check-ins and pre-trial monitoring directed by courts in the area, the Minneapolis-based Precision Kiosk Technologies (PKT) firm has announced.
Up to 25 persons are screened daily for alcohol by the kiosk which has been installed by the Acoma Tribal Court in the Acomo Law Enforcement Centre. It is said to be the first Native American tribe to adopt the service. Over all, the technology is now in use in at least 25 U.S. jurisdictions for alcohol control, pre-trail services and probation check-ins.
The AB Kiosk, which operates using an interactive stand-alone biometric kiosk and an easy-to-use client-management software, is seen as a major solution to the problems that have often characterized the process of conducting alcohol tests requested by the tribal judges.
The technology is said to be fast and cost-effective, and has come to replace the manual and costly method where law enforcement officers used hand-held breathalyzers to screen court clients upon the request of judges. It takes less than a minute for a person to be screened by the electronic kiosk.
The identity of the individual being screened is verified with fingerprint biometrics. Photos and videos can also be taken during the process to confirm the identity of the user.
With the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, the Kiosk will also go a long way in preventing the spread of the virus around the court, as it significantly reduces physical contacts between clients and court staff, PKT said in a press statement. By automating the alcohol control process, the Kiosk frees up staff for other assignments, reduces costs, and quickly identifies those who may have defaulted on their conditions for release. Normally, tribal judges require court clients to abstain from alcohol intake as one of the conditions for either probation, pre-trial release, extended supervision or other diversion programs.
Probation Officer for the Acoma Tribal Court, Gwen Aragon, hailed the AB Kiosk technology for its ability to cut down on the cost and time of administering the alcohol monitoring program. “The accessibility of the system also makes it possible for clients to meet the conditions for their release or sentencing with less disruption to their education, work, and family life. The AB Kiosk system has achieved a nationwide 99.5% client compliance rate and we believe that we will also increase the safety of our community by using this new technology,” she said.
The kiosk can test up to 30 persons in one hour without any direct supervision by court staff.