A Program to Eliminate Public Intoxication Charges and Arrests


Public intoxication is a serious problem. We know that alcohol is a factor in 40% of all violent crimes today. This suggests that anyone who is excessively intoxicated is at risk of unlawful behavior (fights, damage of property, or drunk driving). Those who are sufficiently drunk to have their mobility and judgment impaired may be at risk of harming themselves, or being harmed by others. Given these facts, it makes sense that law enforcement agencies maintain a public drunk tank.

Like the war on drugs, the war on alcohol is resulting in numerous arrests. Should people be arrested and charged with public intoxication? It’s reasonable to suggest that those who have not yet committed any crime, and are of legal drinking age, should be cared for and protected from harming themselves or being harmed by others, yet not charged for any crime.

If local law enforcement is unwilling to embrace such a policy with regard to public intoxication, then a locally organized publicly funded organization could rent a space and establish a drunk tank operated by paid professionals who are not law enforcement officers.

Those working for the drunk tank could be paid to patrol, perhaps ahead of the police, to find drunk college students (for example). Using breathalyzers, it could be determined who is, perhaps, minutes away from bing arrested and charged with public intoxication. Such people would be given a choice: “Do you want to voluntarily visit the non-law-enforcement drunk tank, and make a charitable tax-deductible contribution toward its operation? Or, would you like to be arrested, thrown in jail, have a criminal record, and screw up your future?”


Contact us to submit your comments and suggestions.

One thought on “A Program to Eliminate Public Intoxication Charges and Arrests

  1. Pingback: Join our 20% by 2014 Campaign to Reduce Incarceration Rates | Justice Equity

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