New Law Makes Bars and Nightclubs Safer: Drug Testing Kits Required to Prevent Drink Spiking

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – California will require bars and nightclubs to have drug testing kits available to help customers determine if their drinks have been spiked. The new law, set to take effect in a few months, aims to make a night on the town safer by preventing incidents where people unknowingly consume drugs added to their beverages.

The kits typically include strips, stickers, or straws that can detect common date-rape drugs such as ketamine or GHB. This measure is particularly important for women who often have concerns about their safety when drinking alcohol in public spaces.

“I think it’s a good idea to make people feel more safe,” said Daniel Aguilera from Oakland, highlighting the importance of this new law for ensuring a positive and secure nightlife experience.

Instances of drink tampering are not uncommon, as witnessed by those who have worked in the bar industry. “I’ve seen people sort of touch other people’s drinks that I immediately just get rid of the drink because I just think that’s you have to be careful,” said Joanna Lioche, Staff Manager at Vesuvio.

Assemblymember Josh Lowenthal from Long Beach stressed the need for such measures, stating, “We have a crisis that’s resulting in sexual assault, which primarily targets women and members of the LGBTQ communities.” Lowenthal introduced AB 1013, the bill that led to the implementation of this new law.

The issue of drink tampering hits close to home for many, including those who have personally experienced it or know someone who has. “I have members of my staff that have been roofied. There are members of the legislative body that have been roofied,” said Lowenthal, emphasizing the urgency of addressing this problem.

Starting in July, bar owners in California will be required to have these testing kits available for customers. However, it will be at the discretion of the establishment whether they choose to charge customers for their use.

In conclusion, California’s new law mandating the availability of drug testing kits in bars and nightclubs marks an important step towards ensuring the safety of patrons. By increasing awareness and providing tools to detect drink tampering, the state aims to address a pressing issue that disproportionately affects women and the LGBTQ communities.