2/12/2007New Mexico Spends Gas Tax Dollars on Bathroom Ads
New Mexico launches a talking urinal cake advertising campaign to promote an anti-DUI campaign.
The New Mexico Department of Transportation is spending federal gasoline tax money on talking urinal cakes. As part of the "You Drink, You Drive, You Lose" campaign funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the state has purchased 500 "Wizmark" devices for $21 each. Officials began installing them last week week in bars and restaurants throughout Albuquerque, Farmington, Gallup, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.
The Wizmark subjects users to a female voice reading the following script: "Hey there, big guy. Having a few drinks? Listen up. Think that you've had a few too many? Then it's time to call a cab or ask a sober friend for a ride home. It sure is safer and a hell of a lot cheaper than a DWI. Make the smart choice tonight. Don't drink and drive. Remember, your future is in your hand."
Drunk driving programs are big business for cities like Albuquerque which generates more than $1 million a year from car confiscation and fines. In 2005, the Essex, UK Speed Camera Partnership installed posters in urinals to advertise the benefits of automated ticketing machines.