drunk tank



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drunk tank (plural drunk tanks)

  1. (slang) A cell where people who have been arrested for public drunkenness are detained until they are sober.
    • 1962, Charles Bukowski, letter, in On Writing, Canongate 2016, p. 57:
      [I]f you're honest enough you might end up in the drunk-tank 15 or 20 times and lose a few jobs and a wife or 2 or maybe slug somebody in the streets and sleep on a park bench now and then […].
    • 1987, Jem Finer and Shane MacGowan, "Fairytale of New York":
      It was Christmas Eve babe, in the drunk tank / An old man said to me, won't see another one.