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RFID Identifies Drunk Individuals Before They Drive

Zouk, a popular Singapore nightclub, has tested a solution that uses sensors in men's urinals, as well as RFID-enabled valet parking stubs, alert the staff to any customers who should not be allowed to drive themselves home.
By Claire Swedberg

Prior to the system's installation, Zouk provided paper parking cards to customers as they left their vehicles with the valet service before entering the club. The patrons then kept the card in a pocket or wallet, turning it in upon picking up their car keys at the end of the evening, after which valets would return their keys to them.

The unique ID number encoded to the tag is not linked to any data about the individual himself, the company notes. However, it does create a link to the keys of the vehicle that has been turned over, which is then entered into the club's software.

A screen displayed warnings of high blood-alcohol levels, enabling the valet staff to determine whether or not to turn over a given driver's car keys.
At the valet station, a driver handed his RFID parking card to a member of the valet staff, who placed it on a reader installed under the kiosk's counter. The reader captured the tag's ID number, along with any urine test results. If the measured alcohol level was deemed acceptable, a green light was displayed, and that driver was handed his keys. If the measurement was too high, however, a red light on the kiosk was illuminated and that patron was offered a ride from the drive-home service, or the club called a cab to pick him up. The card was then cleared for use by the next customer.

The system was not intended to be a police-enforcement system, the company assures. If an individual demanded his keys despite a high blood-alcohol level, the club returned them as request. However, over the course of the two-week pilot, the system tested 573 drivers, 342 of whom opted for the drive-home service or elected to call a cab.

"We conducted the pilot project across two weeks, so that we could monitor the usability and effectiveness within the given timeframe," Jacobs says. "We've captured feedback and findings, as well as gained valuable insight to better address the problem. With this, we are able to further tweak the pilot and improve clearer outcomes for future implementations."

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