California bars will offer drug testing devices to stop drink spiking

MONEY & BUSINESS: California bars will offer drug testing devices to stop drink spiking

A new law will require many establishments that serve booze in California to provide drug test tools and post signage warning about drink spiking, starting July 1 this year.

The measure, AB1310, requires establishments with a Type 48 liquor license – granted to bars and nightclubs, without a requirement to serve food  – to offer patrons drug testing kits to test for common date-rape drugs, often referred to as ‘roofies,’ according to a press release. 

The required signage will include a message reading, “Don’t get roofied! Drink spiking drug test kits available here. Ask a staff member for details.”

The state says the new law will affect approximately 2,400 establishments in the Golden State. 

Establishments must make test strips available, either for free or a small charge to customers who request them. Test strips have been on the market for a few years, often distributed at colleges, universities and within the U.S. military community. 

The tests will be available starting this summer. Getty Images

State Assembly member Jowsh Lowenthal of Long Beach – who owns three restaurants – introduced the bill to prevent sexual assault, according to local FOX 2 KTVU.

“We have a crisis that’s taking place that’s resulting in sexual assault, that’s targeting primarily women and members of the LGBTQ communities,” Lowenthal said in a video presentation to the assembly. He is a father to three daughters and said the crime is underreported. 

“By way of example, I have members of my staff that have been roofied, members of the legislative body that have been roofied,” he said.

Sign indicating new law about alcoholic beverage license holders offering drug testing devices to patrons.
A the kits will detect common drugs, referred to as ‘roofies.’ California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control

California is the first state in the country to enact such a law. 

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