One of the most challenging issues to deal with in a family law custody case is when one parent has a substance abuse problem. In these situations, a parent constantly worries about their child(ren) while they are in the other, addicted parent’s care. Additionally, the court overseeing the case may struggle to find the right balance between ensuring the child has a relationship with the addicted or recovering parent and ensuring the child’s physical safety. Fortunately, new technology in the form of remote alcohol and sobriety monitoring apps is making it easier to address these types of substance abuse issues in custody cases.
Remote alcohol monitoring is a handheld breathalyzer that tests the alcohol levels in a person’s system, and then sends that information to another party such as the other parent or the guardian ad litem. The breathalyzer results can be received almost immediately, which can give the parent peace of mind that the other party is not drinking around or in front of the children.
These remote alcohol monitoring apps are more convenient than having to take a breathalyzer test at a facility (more convenient means the individual may be more likely to take the test). Also, these types of tests can occur much more frequently than testing at a facility, often with the parent testing multiple times per day, which can ease a parent’s anxieties that the other parent may be drinking in between the testing dates.
As these remote alcohol monitoring apps are relatively newer technology, Porchlight is taking a look at some of the apps currently available, as well as their pricing and features:
SoberLink: Remote alcohol testing with a professional grade portable device on a set schedule with text message reminders or a schedule determined by the user. It does not provide randomized testing, but offers live time results to multiple contacts by text and email and summary daily and weekly reports.
Platforms: Portable breathalyzer with facial recognition technology and tamper detection sensors. Pricing: $299-399 for testing device; $99-199/month for parenting time only (up to 20 days); $149-249 daily testing; 120-day commitment then month-to-month.
BACtrack: Remote alcohol testing on-demand by a designated person or randomized testing. Provides real-time photo and location verified results, connections receive results through the app, and PDF reporting.
Platforms: iOS with police-grade breathalyzer connected to a smartphone.
Pricing: $79.99-$129.99/month; 14-day free trial.
BI SL2: Remote alcohol testing with customizable testing schedule with text alerts. Provides real-time text or email alerts for positive or missed tests to designated recipients, daily, weekly, and monthly reports, facial recognition, and GPS logging. Monitored by Paymer Associates.
Platforms: Portable breathalyzer with facial recognition and tamper detection features.
Pricing: $20/day with a maximum $75/ week; one-time setup fee of $50 and shipping fee of $35.
For family law cases involving alcohol abuse, remote alcohol monitoring tests can provide significant peace of mind to parents as well as evidence and insight to courts. If you have additional questions about remote alcohol or sobriety monitoring apps, or if you would like to schedule a family law consultation with Porchlight, call us at (678) 435-9069 or contact us via our online form.