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Michigan Deploys Talking Urinal Cakes In DUI Fight

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Michigan hopes to keep drunks off the road with help from a special message delivered in a unique way in men’s bathrooms.

Talking urinal-deodorizer cakes have been distributed to Michigan Licensed Beverage Association members in Wayne County, including Detroit, state officials announced. They feature an attention-getting woman’s voice saying, “Had a few drinks … maybe a few too many ..?”

The recorded message will play to remind men who step up to the urinals to “do yourself and everyone else a favor” and call a cab or a friend, if needed, to get home safely.

“And we hope that by using surprise and a little bit of humor in a unique location will make a lasting impression on every male that hears the message,” said Melody Kindraka, with the Office of Highway Safety Planning.

“This message is directed at men because statistics show that in Michigan men drive drunk three times as often as women,” she aid.

Bay, Ottawa and Delta counties also are getting them. The motion-activated messages are part of a statewide July 4th education and enforcement effort. The federally funded drunken driving crackdown runs through Sunday. It also includes stepped up patrols in 26 counties involving a number of agencies.

“At first it may be seen as humorous, but the seriousness of the message will stand out and encourage patrons to find a safe ride home,” said Michigan Licensed Beverage Association Executive Director Scott T. Ellis.

Talking urinal cakes have been used in other states for similar efforts.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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