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Boozy Brits Could Face a Night in new "Drunk Tanks"

Fleets of "drunk tanks" and "booze buses" could soon sweep UK streets to combat public drunkenness.


The drunk tanks would be like this—but on
wheels. Photo via

By May Wilkerson


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British Prime Minister David Cameron plans to deploy a fleet of "drunk tanks" and "booze buses" as part of a grand effort to crack down on public intoxication in the hard-drinking UK. "Booze buses" are ambulances that administer medical aid to drunken patients on board. "Drunk tanks"—a model that originated in the US—are cells-on-wheels, confining inebriated troublemakers as they sober up overnight. The new proposals are intended to prevent British hospitals and police stations becoming overcrowded due to widespread drunkenness, which costs the UK more than more than £2.7 billion ($4.2 billion) annually. Last year, alcohol was responsible for 200,000 hospital admissions in the UK, and the problem is getting worse, fast. "Over the last decade we’ve seen a frightening growth in the number of people—many underage—who think it’s acceptable for people to get drunk in public in ways that wreck lives, spread fear and increase crime," says Cameron.

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