Today I was out for our daily Costa coffee with my boyfriend's mum and had a choice of reading material: The Times or The Sun. I was feeling too down to Earth to be reading The Times, so I turned to the dreaded Sun for some page 3 fun. I'm kidding that's not what I looked at.
Somehow whilst reading The Sun, I was inspired to for once write about a more serious issue (kind of serious anyway, it was the controversial booby ogling tabloid newspaper that inspired me after all), that of Drunk Tanks.
This topic is sweeping newspaper debates everywhere recently (so why the heck did I just admit to reading The Sun?!) but if you haven't heard of them, drunk tanks are where privately run firms will offer drunkards a place to stay for the night. Upon awakening with a banging hangover in a strange place, you'll be given a bill of £400 for your unmemorable overnight stay. These 'drunk tanks' will supposedly provide a place for the drunk and disorderly or those who have lost their inhibitions - and clearly their friends - to sober up.
The best way to avoid such things as 'drunk tanks' even being proposed, is to control your drinking, and not end up like this.
An argument against these drunk tanks is that it's just another rule for society, the view of some is perhaps a bit over the top, such as Nick Pickels who argued that 'today it's being drunk, tomorrow it could be dropping cigarette butts or handing out the wrong leaflets'. If we look at it from this stand point, when the drunk tanks are set up and people are locked away for the night with a hefty fine over their head, what can be changed about society next?
But what's believed to be beneficial about 'drunk tanks'? The belief behind these 'welfare centres' is that they'll cut alcohol fuelled disorder and stop drinkers being a huge drain on the police force and the NHS. In my opinion, locking a drunk away for the night isn't going to stop the drain on the police force or the NHS. If a person is being disorderly and aggressive, the police will need to be called, if a person is seriously ill or injured, they'll need to go to hospital. So, the only way drunk tanks could possibly work is if drunken revellers were tanked up before they caused any fights or injured themselves. That could mean locking up almost any one on a night out.
As students, we do all sorts of stupid things during our nights out, it can involve petty fights (don't worry I'm no brawler), strategic cone placements and sleeping in unconventional places, but do our mistakes when drunk mean we should be kept safe from ourselves and others by paying £400 to stay somewhere we don't even want to? And will drunk tanks really stop the large expenditure that drunk people cost society? Or is it simply a temporary solution?
I'd love to hear your opinion on 'drunk tanks' and if you don't agree with them, how do you think the NHS or the police force could be helped to deal with the cost of alcohol related incidents?
This isn't quite what I meant by drunk tanks.