If David Bisard ever gets bond, he will have a new housemate.
Electronic Monitoring Supervisor Elliot Payne said a black high-tech box with a hose attachment will be with Bisard throughout the day to monitor his blood alcohol level.
“This is a portable breath test. It’s sending results to our computer database and you’ll be able to see if someone’s testing positive for alcohol,” said Payne about the Mitsubishi electronic monitoring station, also called the MEMS 3000.
With the instant feedback through the computer, Bisard’s case worker will know immediately if he’s been drinking. Bisard would be required to use the machine at least three times per day.
Once he hears the alarm, he’ll press start and blow into the hose. The device will measure his blood alcohol and take his picture before sending the results.
Tobyn Linton, the assistant director of adult services at the Fairbanks Addiction Treatment center, said alcohol monitoring devices like the MEMS 3000 are effective. However, he believes offenders like Bisard need to focus on long-term goals.
“A lot of those devices can be effective in the short term. Our main goal is to help people navigate those stages of change as they move toward a lifestyle of not drinking not using,” said Linton, who added that it’s not uncommon for people to try to trick the alcohol monitoring systems.
“Because that drive is so strong, the drive to use alcohol, or drug of choice, is so strong they come up with oftentimes very creative ways to sidestep some of those systems that are put in place to help them,” he said.
Payne maintained that the system is hard to beat.
“We’ll know it takes a full picture that’s actually blowing into the machine so we can verify it’s the individual that’s placed on it,” he said.
Kody Gilliland contributed to this report