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Author: Subject: Talking Urinals

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  posted on 2/16/2007 at 09:28 AM
Will drunks listen to voice from the porcelain?
New Mexico deploys talking urinal cakes to persuade drinkers not to drive

Updated: 2:35 p.m. ET Feb 15, 2007

RIO RANCHO, N.M. - New Mexico is hoping to keep drunks off the road by lecturing them at the last place they usually stop before getting behind the wheel: the urinal.

The state recently paid $21 each for about 500 talking urinal deodorizer cakes and has put them in men's rooms in bars and restaurants across the state.

When a man steps up, the motion-sensitive plastic device says, in a woman's voice that is flirty, then stern: "Hey, big guy. Having a few drinks? Think you had one too many? Then it's time to call a cab or call a sober friend for a ride home."

The recorded message ends: "Remember, your future is in your hand."

The talking urinal represents just the latest effort to fight drunken driving in New Mexico, which has long had one of the highest rates of alcohol-related traffic deaths in the nation. (The new tactic is aimed only at men, since they account for 78 percent of all driving-under-the-influence-related convictions in New Mexico.)

"It startled me the first time I heard it, but it sure got my attention," said Ben Miller, a patron at the Turtle Mountain Brewing Co. bar and restaurant. "It's a fantastic idea."

Jim Swatek, who was drinking a beer nearby, said: "You think, `Maybe I should call the wife to come get me.'"

Turtle Mountain Brewing owner Niko Ortiz commended the New Mexico Transportation Department for "thinking way outside the box."

‘We’ve got their total attention’
Department spokesman S.U. Mahesh said the bathroom is a perfect place to get the message across. In the restroom, "guys don't chitchat with other guys," he said. "It's all business. We've got their total attention for 10 to 15 seconds."

Similar urinal cakes have been used for anti-drug campaigns in Colorado, Pennsylvania and Australia, and for anti-DWI efforts on New York's Long Island, said Richard Deutsch of New York-based Healthquest Technologies Inc., which manufactures the devices.

But Deutsch said he believes New Mexico is the only state to buy the devices.

New Mexico had 143 alcohol-related deaths in 2005, for the nation's eighth-highest rate per miles driven. The problem is blamed in part on the wide-open spaces that make it necessary to drive to get anywhere, and the poverty and isolation that can lead people to drink to relieve their boredom or misery.

Also, some have complained that the state has only recently begun to emerge from years of lax enforcement.

Gov. Bill Richardson led a successful push two years ago to require ignition locking devices for anyone convicted of DWI — a first in the nation — and each year the Legislature has agreed on tougher penalties for repeat offenders.

New Mexico also has started a toll-free "drunk buster" hot line, boosted DWI enforcement in problem areas and increased police checkpoints. The state also has a DWI czar.

In November, a wrong-way drunken driver slammed into a car near Santa Fe, killing five family members, authorities said. The governor has since directed state regulators to issue cease-and-desist orders against three airlines to stop serving alcohol on flights to and from New Mexico. The culprit in the fatal wreck had been seen drinking on a flight into Albuquerque hours before the accident.

Ummm ... how’d you get that?
At Turtle Mountain, the urinal cakes have proved so intriguing that three have been swiped already.

"I'm mystified why someone would stick their hand into one of our urinals," Ortiz said. "But I'm sure we'll see them on eBay. Hopefully, the seller will advertise it as, `Stolen from Turtle Mountain.'"

 
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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 2/16/2007 at 09:45 AM
too many tragic accidents on the road where young people lose their lives and the parents and relatives are the ones that really feel the pain. don't know if anything can change the culture of 'drink driving' I'm pretty sure if I was seventeen out with my 'mates' having a good time taking a leak last thing I would be listening to would be a urinal telling me what to do. if I'm not gonna listen to my parents why should I listen to a urinal?

 

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  posted on 2/16/2007 at 10:19 AM
Does that urinal cake come in chocolate?

 

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  posted on 2/16/2007 at 10:40 AM
Anyone remember a movie called "Get Crazy"? There was a scene in the movie about voices coming from a toilet stall that was hilarious. The movie was a parody about the last day(s) of the Fillmore. Starred Ed Begley Jr. as an evil real eatate developer. Sorry I'm off the subject, but this story reminded me of that movie scene.
 

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  posted on 2/16/2007 at 10:46 AM
All I know is that 3.8 liters equals one gallon per flush

How this info will help me I don't know but it is always right there every time I sidle up to one of those things.

 

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  posted on 2/16/2007 at 11:17 AM
If urininals start talking to me I think it's time to stop taking the brown acid.

 

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  posted on 2/16/2007 at 11:53 AM
This urinal only talks if you walk inside...





 

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  posted on 2/16/2007 at 01:12 PM
quote:
The recorded message ends: "Remember, your future is in your hand."
LMAO - can't wait to hear what they've got up their sleeves (or skirts?) for us ladies.

Drunk driving - not funny
This article - very funny

quote:
All I know is that 3.8 liters equals one gallon per flush
Thanks, Dutch...I did not know that! LOL

 

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  posted on 2/16/2007 at 03:26 PM
I encountered one of those the other day. Stepped up and was letting loose when I hear this voice coming out of the friggin urinal. Not DWI oriented at all, but a movie trailer for some flick called 'Go To Prison', or something like that. Man, marketing knows no bounds....

Personally, if it were a chicks voice going, "Hey big boy...", I think I'd be laughing too hard to get the message behind it.

 

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  posted on 2/16/2007 at 03:43 PM
quote:
but a movie trailer for some flick called 'Go To Prison',
LMAO! Oh my - not what you want to be hearing when you're 'vulnerable'!!

 

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  posted on 2/16/2007 at 03:59 PM
Unless there's something in the water that says 'don't pee on the seat' for the ladies room, I don't want anything talking to to my buns while I'm sitting there!

 

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  posted on 2/16/2007 at 05:38 PM
A bar that I used to frequent back in the '80's put in a breathalizer machine thinking that patrons would monitor their blood alcohol level and stop drinking before getting overly intoxicated. They ended up having to take it out because it was primarily used as a competition to see who could blow the highest "score". I don't know how the talking pisser could be used in a competition, but if there's a way someone will find it.

 

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  posted on 2/17/2007 at 02:00 AM

 

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  posted on 2/17/2007 at 10:38 PM
So,as it's peed on more and more,and starts shrinking as those cakes do,does the voice change?Maybe get higher?

 

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  posted on 2/18/2007 at 05:52 AM
quote:
So,as it's peed on more and more,and starts shrinking as those cakes do,does the voice change?Maybe get higher?

"I'm melting, melting! What a world, what a world!"

 

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