Drinking and driving in Maricopa County (which includes Phoenix and surrounding areas) comes with a very unique punishment. My co-founder, Brian, and I were in the area recently for a conference, and learned that the local Sheriff (in most circles, a very unpopular man) created Tent City more than 16 years ago. This is a jail facility made up of antiquated old military tents, not only absent of common amenities, but designed to humiliate and deprive its inmates.


Tent City InmatesWearing pink underwear and jump suits, and restrained by pink handcuffs, inmates are subjected to above 40 degree celsius (100 degree fahrenheit) temperatures. When not sweating on their bunks, inmates can sometimes look forward to being put to work, removing graffiti and cleaning downtown areas on a chain gang.

Tent City Inmates 2Suffice it to say, for us it was a scary thought to be stuck in this facility for the sake of having a few drinks. While this system saves the County money, and in some minds, works to prevent future occurrences, there is no shortage of controversy around Tent City, and the infamous Sheriff who not only created it, but is still the top cop in the County today.

Always avoid drinking and driving, however, if you are going to Arizona, you might consider abstaining for the week leading up to it, too.

Luke Bazely is Co-Founder of Driverseat Inc., a personal transportation company.