In my last post I talked about a Belgian nightclub’s novel attempt at reducing the number of drunk drivers hitting the road. It just so happens that as I was browsing the internet after that post, I came across a similar Singaporean DUI prevention innovation developed with the same objective in mind.
Like major cities in the United States, Singapore is also attempting to deal with its DUI problem. With 2140 drunk driving cases in Singapore in the last 12 months, one of the country’s hottest nightclubs has teamed up with marketing agency DDB Group to do its part.
When patrons of the nightclub Zouk pulled up to the valet, instead of receiving the usual parking ticket, they were given a RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Device) card in exchange for their keys. The club then equipped the restroom urinals with a device that detects alcohol in the urine. After analyzing the urine of bathroom goers, the device identifies the person relieving themselves through their RFID cards. If the device detected enough alcohol to put the person over the legal limit, their RFID cards would be tagged and a monitor above the urinal would let them know they needed to call a cab or use the nightclub’s drive home system.
If patrons who were detected to be over the legal limit would attempt to exchange their RFID card for their keys at the valet, the valets, who were on notice of the urinal analysis results, would ask the patron to take a taxi or use the nightclub’s drive home system.
During a two-week trial period, over 573 drunk drivers were detected, 342 of which left their vehicles at the club and found alternative means home.
As with the Belgian breathalyzer gate, there are some logistical problems.
The device was only installed on urinals. Unless females aren’t allowed to drink or drive, which I doubt, the anti-DUI systems only targets men. Also, if the men’s restroom gets crowded, as it often does, it’s not uncommon for men to use the stall instead of the urinal to urinate.
And who’s to say that drivers aren’t handing off their RFID cards to someone else while they use the restroom?