Crime

Said Ali Mohamud figures out the secret to tricking alcohol-monitoring bracelets

It's no surprise that Said Ali Mohamud was arrested by Boulder cops for driving drunk last week. He's reportedly had numerous alcohol-related infractions since 2008.

More unexpected was his ability to circumvent the alcohol-monitoring ankle bracelet he wore by stuffing some plastic between this doodad and his skin, thereby preventing it from figuring out that he was loaded.

Why? Because that's not supposed to work, according to a Colorado company that's among the best-known manufacturers of these devices.

A primer for law enforcement created by Littleton's Alcohol Monitoring Systems touts the effectiveness of the bracelets' "obstruction sensor," which "detects materials inserted between the bracelet and the leg through comparisons with baseline IR readings taken when the device is first attached. Substantial changes in IR readings generate a potential tamper alert. Moreover, AMS staff can typically classify materials used to block the device (e.g., socks, plastic, bed sheets, etc.)."

Of course, it's possible that the person putting the bracelet on Mohamud did so incorrectly, thereby making it easier to outfox. Whatever the case, drunks who don't want to reform will still likely try to follow Mohamud.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts