Talking urinals, flashing beads reminders to designate a driver |

Talking urinals, flashing beads reminders to designate a driver

summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

BRECKENRIDGE ” “Am I hallucinating, or did your urinal just start talking to me?”

That’s the question Leslie Day, one of the owners of the Motherloaded Tavern, heard after a confused patron visited the restroom at her establishment. It took a second for Day to register the customer’s comment, but soon she remembered the Wizmark ” an interactive urinal communicator ” placed in the men’s restroom by the Summit Prevention Alliance.

The device, called “interactive” because it speaks to those going to the bathroom, has since vanished from the Motherloaded, but its message lives on in the women’s restroom. There, a scrolling screen reads, “Hey you with your pants down, almost everyone’s doing it. Get your mind out of the toilet, girl. Four out of five Summit County partiers designate a driver. Plan ahead when you plan to drink. Have a great night.”

Some sage advice, considering today is Fat Tuesday and another big surge for SPA’s “(Almost) Everyone’s Doing It” campaign. Their advertising aims to reduce alcohol-related crashes, fatalities and arrests, according to Susan Cox, SPA community prevention coordinator.

SPA’s efforts prove timely, considering in 2006, 47 accidents in Summit County involved driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to statistics from the Colorado State Patrol. That’s a 60 percent increase from 2005 numbers.

Along with the wizmarks and scrolling screens, which have been offered up to a number of local restaurants and bars, SPA has distributed posters and server buttons in an effort to keep those numbers down.

Today, SPA will be throwing (Almost) Everyone’s Doing It Mardi Gras beads at the Keystone and Breckenridge parades, and will pass them out at Copper throughout the day. Cox said four of the necklaces thrown at Keystone will be “prize beads” with a small medallion with a sticker on it. These can be brought to the KSMT booth for a $50 certificate toward a one-day lift pass.

The plastic jewelry is just another reminder about the statistic SPA’s campaign is based on: Most people (four out of five) designate a driver in Summit County. That’s based on a 500-person survey an independent researcher did for SPA on Summit County young adults’ habits.

For Day, the bandwagon approach to designating a driver could work.

“If people are thinking others are doing it they might be a little more cognizant themselves,” she said.

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