Pubdate: Wed, 08 Oct 2003
Source: Lexington Herald-Leader (KY)
Copyright: 2003 Lexington Herald-Leader
Author: Betsy Blaney, Associated Press
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)


LUBBOCK, Texas - Some West Texas men on probation are in trouble again, this
time for using the Whizzinator to help them pass court-ordered urinalysis

In the past six months, five men on probation were caught using a
realistic-looking prosthetic that dispenses synthetic, drug-free urine, Lubbock
County sheriff's officials said. One was caught by an alert officer who heard
something unusual in the restroom.

"A body part when it's up against a plastic cup isn't going to go 'clink,'"
said Tom Madigan, interim assistant director of the Lubbock County adult
probation office.

The device, reusable and available in five flesh colors, is sold by
California-based Puck Technology for $150. A prosthetic penis is attached to an
undergarment resembling a jock strap and connects to a pouch containing
dehydrated urine. Water is added to the pouch and a heat pack can be attached
to keep the urine close to body temperature.

Company owner Dennis Catalano has sold the device and one designed for women
for about four years, mainly through an Internet site. He said what he does is

"How people choose to use it is beyond our control," he said. "But we
manufacture this and sell it for people who believe we still have a semblance
of privacy in this country."

The five Lubbock men caught using the device will probably get their probation
revoked and return to jail, said Dan Rowan, a probation office supervisor.

They also could face additional charges. Under Texas law, using a substance or
device to try to falsify drug test results is a Class B misdemeanor, which
carries a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Catalano isn't safe, either. Selling or making a device or substance intended
to falsify urine test results is a Class A misdemeanor, with a maximum one-year
jail term and $4,000 fine. Authorities haven't decided whether they will seek
charges against the manufacturer.

In 2001, two San Antonio probationers caught using the Whizzinator were
prosecuted and sentenced to 180 days in jail and fined $2,000, said Susan Reed,
the Bexar County district attorney.

Reed considered pursuing charges against the company, but said she would have
had difficulty showing that it sold the device in her jurisdiction.

What doesn't make sense, Rowan said, is that offenders sometime spend more on
devices to beat the test than they spend on drugs.

"It seems they will stop at nothing," said Rowan, noting that sometimes
offenders use their children's urine to try and pass tests. "They won't
continue with their sobriety, and they'll exhaust any method possible to
continue with their drug usage."
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