FAIRBANKS - Workers on Wednesday started pouring the foundation for a new alcohol detox center in Fairbanks.
The new center was funded by state, nonprofit and private money.
Officials said that when the 10 beds at the current local detox center are full, chronic inebriates are sent to a seven-by-seven-foot jail cell.
Kate Wood, director of the Ralph Perdue Center, the current detox center, said "intoxicants don't belong in jail, but it's safer than sleeping under a bridge, especially during the long winter."
The new facility will offer 16 beds in the detox unit, educational classes, videos and one-on-one counseling.
It is expected to open in January of 2009.