Men's room strategy to reduce drunk driving
An unusual sound you might hear this weekend may come from the restroom at your local watering hole. It's an unusual approach to reducing drunk driving on St. Patrick's Day.
St. Paul, Minn. — It's the sound of -- this is the truth -- a talking urinal cake. About 100 devices will be in place in mens' restrooms around the Twin Cities this St. Patrick's Day weekend. They're placed there by -- still not making this up -- the State of Minnesota.
A woman's voice emanating from the urinal cake encourages the patron to call a cab if they've had too much to drink.
The Department of Public Safety is aiming their message at young men, who officials say need to hear about safe drinking behavior while they're drinking. They hope the unusual message will prompt conversations about drunk driving among groups gathered at bars this weekend.
DWI arrests spike on St. Patrick's Day, and the fact that the holiday falls on a weekend this year has them especially concerned. Some 45,000 Minnesotans were arrested for driving while intoxicated in the last year.
The state borrowed the idea -- and the voice-over that eminates from the urinal -- from the state of New Mexico.
Why no bathroom messages targeted at women? A Public Safety spokesperson says 89 percent of the 200 or so annual alcohol-related deaths are caused by men.
The talking urinal cakes cost $20 each, and the funding comes from a federal grant for anti-drunk driving ad campaigns.
- All Things Considered, 03/16/2007, 6:26 p.m.