Nightclub urinal tells patrons when they've had one too many


July 20, 2013

Warning readout at the valet station

Warning readout at the valet station

Image Gallery (6 images)

Alcohol and driving definitely don’t mix, but those most in need of having their keys taken away are the worst judges of how much they've had to drink. As part of an anti-drink/drive campaign by Singapore’s Zouk nightclub, DDB Group Singapore developed the Pee Analyzer: a system fitted to urinals that tests patrons’ alcohol levels every time they take a trip to the bathroom.

Singapore sees 2141 cases of drunk driving a year, some fatal. Zouk called upon DDB Group Singapore to devise a campaign to reduce drunk driving by catching those over the limit before they get behind the wheel in a way that was “relevant and impactful.” The result was the Pee Analyzer.

The Analyzer is a series of bespoke urine testing devices that can reset instantly for consecutive readings from multiple patrons. These devices are paired with an RFID reader and when patrons park their car, they exchange their car keys for parking cards containing RFID tags. These tags can then be used to identify the patrons and record their alcohol levels.

If a patron is above the legal limit while contemplating the wall, the system notes the RFID tag and, in keeping with a nightclub atmosphere, a bright message is flashed above the urinal suggesting that the patron take advantage of the club’s drive home program or call a cab. Another RFID reader at the valet station flashes similar warnings when the patron presents their parking cards so the valets can make the same suggestion for a ride or cab.

The results of the campaign saw 573 drivers warned in two weeks. Of these, 342 used the drive home service or called a cab.

According to DDB Singapore, “Anti-drink driving awareness advertisements have almost become blind spots. Our solution took anti drink-driving messaging to a new level. By identifying drivers, testing their urine for alcohol content with a custom-designed device in urinals and discouraging them from driving drunk. All at a place they least expected. Bars.”

The system is far from perfect. Obviously, it doesn't help the female patrons who might be driving and it presumes that the driver will have the parking card on him, so there could be a logistical gap, but hat's off to this innovative approach to tackling this wide spread problem.

The Pee Analyzer promotional campaign was shortlisted for the 2013 Cannes Lions Award.

The DBB video below runs us through the Pee Analyzer campaign.

Sources: DDB Group Singapore, Cannes Lions via PSFK

About the Author
David Szondy David Szondy is a freelance writer based in Monroe, Washington. An award-winning playwright, he has contributed to Charged and iQ magazine and is the author of the website Tales of Future Past. All articles by David Szondy

Can't wait for the day that you pee on your phone to tell you if your pissed.

Ulrich Duenzl

Why not just require all citizens to have the RFID permanently implanted? Then we can implement all manner of control of "undesirable actions". The 1997 movie "Gattaca" had a good depiction of this idea.

Walter Freeman

This is all assuming that a urine alcohol level is a reliable indicator of impairment. And it isnt'. That's why a breath alcohol level or a blood alcohol level is what is required in the justice system.


Ulrich & Walter! Way too serious! What is needed is a hackable system that can be hijacked to trash talk the using public on the spot, as it were. Think of those dumb computer voices in cars, "the door is ajar...". Instead, maybe insult punch lines i.e. " What, Chardonnay!, or Ugh, Light Beer?,). Naturally this should be delivered in a New Jersey kinda tone, just seems more appropriate that way. On the other hand if cops had a handheld "pee on the little illuminated target,,), that could be worth the pullover.


The main reason that urine alcohol level is not a good stand-in for blood alcohol level is that if a person is diabetic, microbes in their bladders can ferment the sugar that's likely to be in the urine stored there, producing alcohol that didn't come from the blood.


This seems like a terrible idea. The first time someone has an accident or gets a DUI after the toilet fails to warn them they're impaired, the company will be sued out of existence.

Ashley Zinyk

I think it's better to risk a false positive which makes a sober person take a taxi, than risk a false negative which gets a drunk person behind the wheel. They can always use a second opinion if the positive test comes up, and there are many cheap breath testers on the market these days to help them with this.


It looks like you could pee off to the side of the sensor and it would not detect your urine alcohol level. Besides,I don't let anyone, valets especially, drive my car.


The big problem I see with this is that patrons will quickly get annoyed at being called out and either a) find another bar or b) start systematically peeing in the sit down bowl. One is bad for adoption, the other - well, drunk people trying to aim where I plan to sit isn't my idea of the way I want my bar to work. Anyway, I like the notification, but it probably will do better in the long term if it's less annoying and more catchy.


Guess I'll start pissing on the wall

Adrian Tyler
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