Corrections Minister Anne Tolley says the Cabinet has approved changing legislation so alcohol-detector bracelets can be introduced.
The ankle bracelets detect the presence of alcohol through the skin and send a signal to a central monitoring system.
Mrs Tolley says about 475 high-risk offenders and people on bail will initially be fitted with the bracelets each year.
She says if alcohol is detected, offenders will be arrested or charges will be laid in court.
Mrs Tolley first floated the idea in June, when she said the technology could be introduced next year.