How British drunkards get ripped off in drunk tanks

People in a drunk cell. This 'VIP-treatment' will cost you 400 pounds in England.

People in a drunk cell. This ‘VIP-treatment’ will cost you 400 pounds in England.

Today we read the news that during the holidays the first drunk tank in Great-Britain, outside London, is opened in Bristol. This is a place where drunk people are brought when they had too much to drink. Seems like a social and humain thing to do right? Well how do you feel when we tell you that, if it’s up to the police, drunkards need to pay up to 400 pounds (475 euro’s) after a night in a drunk cell? That’s more than when one would visit the city at Christmas time and spend a night in the Hilton, the Mercure, The Radisson Blu and the Mariott Royal hotel. The plan: get private owned drunk tanks that get their guests handed to them by the British police.

Ah yes, those helpful cops. Apparently their duty to protect and serve does not apply to drunk people. This group would not only be forced to spend the night in what’s probably their most expensive accomodation for a night ever. On top of that they get fines for being drunk and disorderly, which is another 80 pounds (almost 100 euro’s). No presents for little Timmy this Christmas, since daddy is forced to pay huge bills after a night out. Adrian Lee, chief of the Northamptonshire Police says: “I do not see why the police service or the health service should pick up the duty of care for someone who has chosen to go out and get so drunk that they cannot look after themselves.”

Hey mister Lee, here’s a thought: let’s stop protecting women from being raped and elderly from being molested. If they can’t look after themselves, fuck them. Or let’s stop spending money on handicaps. If they can’t look after themselves it’s there problem. In fact, everyone that is not a complete übermensch should be sent away. To drunk tanks or directly to “reeducation camps”. That’s right, mister Lee we compared you to a certain German dictator, so sue us.

Back to being serious. Of course we understand that drunks in the streets can sometimes be a danger to themselves. Nobody should freeze to death. But what do they really need that is so expensive? In Australia they developed a simular system for 200 Australian dollars (130 euro’s) a night. Even though it’s still a rediculous price to pay, it’s already way cheaper than the former motherland. This new hype is coming up in a time that countries like Russia and Poland actually closed down drunk tanks as one of the last communist institutions. Makes you think right?

Now who loves travelling understands the importance of a proper ‘value for money check’ before booking any hotel. So we put some of the main hotels in a ranking for you. All these prices are for a simple room at the first day of Christmas. If anyone ever had the drunk cell experience we would like to hear about the service and extra’s that must have been amazing. Especially if you count in the 80 pound tip for those ‘helpful’ coppers.

Available rooms in Bristol at first day of Christmas :
The Ibis Temple Meads Quay – 39 euro’s
The Holiday Inn North – 45 euro’s
The Holiday Inn Centre – 50 euro’s
The Ibis City Centre – 58 euro’s
The Grange Hotel – 63 euro’s
The Best Western Walton Park Hotel – 63 euro’s
The Mercure Bristol North – 66 euro’s
The Novotel – 70 euro’s
Grasmere Court Hotel – 77 euro’s
The Mercure Bristol Brigstow – 80 euro’s
The Hilton – 81 euro’s
The Radisson Blu – 86 euro’s
The Mariott City Centre – 106 euro’s
The Berkely Square – 120 euro’s
The Mariott Royal – 130 euro’s
Aztec Hotel & Spa – 160 euro’s
Hotel du Vin Bistro – 178 euro’s
The Drunk Tank – 475 euro’s (+ fines)

Micky Bumbar

Related articles on LOTD:

The strange places one might wake up in after heavy drinking

Drunk Norwegian cyclist saved from freezing to death

19 thoughts on “How British drunkards get ripped off in drunk tanks

  1. The ambulance service does not propose to charge patients in an Alcohol Recovery Centre. The NHS remains free for patients.

    The newspaper article you have linked refers to a completely separate idea for PRIVATISED “drunk tanks” that was tabled by the Association of Chief Police Officers. Please do not confuse the two.


      • The ambulance service are the people who are (jointly) running the ARC – they’re talking about the total cost. I’m afraid your entire article is irrelevant, as the end cost to the user is zero.


      • The link in the first line takes you to the original article which describes the ARC in Bristol. This is for intoxicated “patients” and the NHS ambulance service is mentioned heavily.

        The blog post then goes on to talk about an IDEA from the ACPO for private drunk tanks…. Although the blog post seems to suggest this is current practice, which is certainly not the case in Bristol, if anywhere.

        As a result, this entire blog post is based upon the supposition that the ACPO idea is being operated…. It is not.

        Sorry, but this is not the scandal you are looking for.


  2. You raise the comparison of women and elderly people being in danger, however, these things are very often outside their control. Nobody is holding a gun to these people’s heads and forcing them to drink to the point where they become a danger to themselves and others. These people actively make that choice, and should be prepared for any consequences.

    And as for “little Timmy” not getting any Christmas presents, you’d hope that someone holding the role of a parent would be a little more responsible, wouldn’t you? There’s quite a difference between being tipsy and noisy after a night out, and being so wrecked you’re paralytic and have to be taken to a safe place. Forgive me if I’ve misunderstood, as this is the first time I’ve heard of a “Drunk Tank” but I’d say £400 is quite reasonable barter for someone potentially saving their drunk and disorderly hides.


    • Well here’s the thing. It’s the police that judges if a person is ready to be taken into a drunk tank! I have seen the judgement of cops in the past and I don’t trust them one bit to be honest.
      If your behaviour is not to their liking with this system they can force you to pay fines of 480 pounds instead of 80.
      Once again something is introduced like something to help us, but in the end it’s just another way to screw people over. You’ll see!


  3. Any links to any actual facts/documents/reports to back any of this up? Generally if I read something on a blog with none, I’ll assume it’s wrong or made up.


      • Ahah, sorry, I’d need something a bit more reputable/reliable than the Daily Star before I start to even consider all of this as a “problem”.

        Also, to save spamming the comments with multiple replies:
        I understand that perhaps some members of the police force can be rather strict and maybe sometimes even unreasonable in their judgements, but you can’t tar the entire group with the same brush. Almost all of the police I’ve seen, met, or interacted with on a night out were acting perfectly reasonably and acted in the best interests of the public.

        If someone is met with resistance or violence (either verbally or physically), they’re likely to get a bit stressed, and you imagine doing that every night or on busy weekend nights for hours in the cold, when you’d rather be at home or on a night out yourself? You’re likely to have less tolerance and as I said before, if you were acting in a way to draw their attention and suspicion in the first place, you kind of had it coming. They’re not going to make extra work for themselves by randomly booking people that don’t need to be, are they? Who would do that? Bearing in mind that there’s probably a lot of paperwork involved in arresting and fining people. It’s probably not just a case of “oi, you’re nicked” and cash in hand, boom, done. It all has to be done through official channels, doesn’t it?

        Do the police get commission or a cut of that £400 for every drunkard they throw in a Drunk Tank? I doubt they’d be allowed to make such an arrangement. So the real “villain” in all this (if there is one to be found) is the company that the police are working with that have set this price. Complain about them, not the people doing their best and often risking their own safety to keep the streets safe.


      • Well I have serious doubts about the good intentions of cops. Anyway, causing problems when you’re drunk is not what LOTD stands for. We just believe that many problems can be avoided when we just ‘act normal’.
        If someone is really drunk, help him to get home. Don’t put him in a cage with a price over 4 times the Hilton-hotel! This has nothing to do with good intentions!


      • The ARCs that have been successfully run (free to patients) by the ambulance service and multiagency partners should not be confused with the story about ACPO’s idea about private (£££) drink tanks.

        Read the articles again and you will see you are joining two different ideas.


      • “Earlier this year, the Association of Chief Police Officers called for privately-run drunk tanks to help deal with problems caused by excessive alcohol consumption.
        People held in these ARCs would be liable to pay a charge of up to £400 for security and medical staff to care for them overnight.”

        Only the thought makes me vomit!


  4. Pingback: UK introducing new laws that forces people to wear booze bracelets | Lords of the Drinks

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