The Sacramento Bee pays a visit to the county jail’s drunk tank, which reporter Stan Oklobdzija described as “the great social equalizer, welcoming anyone with the misfortune to combine a drink too many and a run-in with the police.” Known as “F Tank” by the deputies guarding it, the 20-by-15 cell is home to thousands of people every year arrested in the county for alcohol- and drug-related offenses. The drunk tank has no furniture other than a bare steel toilet with no seat, and no partitions. The cell is hosed down twice daily, but that only temporarily masks a distinct smell.
If you’re too drunk or too high to cut it with the jail’s regular population, “F Tank” will be your home for several hours. “The drunk tank has many faces,” said Sgt. Greg Coauette of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. “Some nights, it’s a party. Other nights, they just sleep.”