Portable Alcohol Monitors

Portable Alcohol Monitors

Charlie explains what the Portable Alcohol Monitors are and how to use them effectively for your DWI case.


Q: What is the Soberlink alcohol monitoring device?

A: Soberlink is a portable device provided by Recovery Healthcare that monitors alcohol consumption. It is discreet, small, and can be easily carried in a purse, backpack, or car.

Q: What are the alternative alcohol monitoring devices available in Travis County?

A: Besides Soberlink, Travis County offers the IN-HOM device from Smart Start.

Q: Why might Soberlink be preferred over other devices despite being more expensive?

A: Soberlink is favored because it is compact, discreet, and considered a better unit overall.

Q: How many times a day does one need to use Soberlink and what are the time windows?

A: Users need to blow into the Soberlink device within four daily windows: 5:00 AM to 7:00 AM, 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM, 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM, and 10:00 PM to midnight. Blowing 15 minutes before the window is acceptable, but not after the window closes.

Q: Will Soberlink remind users when to take the test?

A: Yes, Soberlink sends text message reminders for each testing window. It's also advised to set phone alarms for the start and just before the end of each window.

Q: Can you consume alcohol when using the Soberlink device?

A: No, you cannot consume alcohol at all when using Soberlink. There are no acceptable excuses for consumption when you're being monitored.

Q: How does Soberlink communicate test results?

A: Soberlink sends a report including a picture and the blood alcohol content result to Recovery Healthcare using the Verizon cellular network.

Q: What happens if there's no cellular service when using Soberlink?

A: The device can store up to 10 days' worth of test results and will upload them once cellular service is available.

Q: How quickly can one complete a test with Soberlink?

A: It takes about a minute to complete a test with Soberlink. The process involves turning on the device, submitting your breath, and waiting for a confirmation.

Q: How can the Soberlink device impact plea negotiations?

A: Voluntarily using Soberlink can benefit plea negotiations, potentially leading to reduced charges if used perfectly for a determined period, such as three to six months.

Q: Is it crucial to have a perfect record with Soberlink?

A: Yes, it's vital to use Soberlink flawlessly. Any test that shows alcohol consumption ("hot blow") or missed tests can negatively affect legal negotiations.

Q: What is the minimum usage duration recommended for Soberlink to be effective in plea negotiations?

A: The minimum recommended usage is three months, but this can vary based on individual cases and prosecutor requests.

Q: What should you do if you miss a test window with Soberlink?

A: If you miss a test window, blow as soon as you realize the mistake. Timing matters, and the sooner you take the test after missing a window, the better.

Q: Will providing explanations for missed tests affect the legal outcome?

A: No, sending explanations to your attorney or court officials does not negate the impact of a missed test.

Q: What is the recommended approach to dealing with the inconvenience of using Soberlink?

A: It's suggested to view the use of Soberlink as a chance to improve your lifestyle, such as incorporating exercise or healthy eating habits, and to leverage the period of abstinence from alcohol as an opportunity to achieve more clarity and productivity in life.