Two years after the Independent Police Conduct Authority called for detox centres or shelters to be established, none have been set up.
An Auckland man, Sentry Taitoko, died in a police cell two weeks ago after being picked up drunk by officers at his Manurewa home.
In 2012, the IPCA looked into 27 deaths in police custody over 10 years. At the top of its list of recommendations was a call for police and Health Ministry officials to work together to create detoxification centres.
The organisations say they are in discussions.
At present, people considered so drunk they are a risk to themselves and others are still taken to police cells to sober up.