Two men enjoy a drink of alcohol
Posed by models (Photo: Shutterstock)

California has adopted a new law that requires bars and clubs to offer kits to check drinks aren’t spiked. 

Assembly Bill 1013 took effect on Monday after Governor Gavin Newsom signed it into law late last year.  

It requires bars and clubs to offer testing kits for drugs such as ketamine, flunitrazepam (also known as Rohypnol), and GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyric acid).

The kits will be “test strips, stickers, straws, and other devices designed to detect the presence of controlled substances in a drink.” 

It only applies to establishments with type-48 liquor licenses, which includes those that sell alcohol without food. Therefore, most restaurants will be exempt. 

The businesses can offer kits for free or sell them (at or around the wholesale price) and must display a sign saying: “Don’t get roofied! Drink spiking drug test kits available here. Ask a staff member for details.”

“Drugging another person without their knowledge or consent is a crime”

Although ketamine and GHB are used on the club circuit and at party’n’play gatherings, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) lists them among other substances used to enable sexual assault. Their effects are compounded when mixed with alcohol. 

Both substances are odorless and tasteless. They can induce a sense of detachment, intoxication, euphoria, muscle relaxation, amnesia and sleep. If someone’s drink is spiked with them, they can be left helpless and unable to fight back against any sexual assault.

“Drugging another person without their knowledge or consent is a crime,” warns the DEA. “The definitions of rape and sexual assault include having sex with someone who is unable to consent because he or she is intoxicated, drugged, or unconscious.”

It’s also easy to overdose on the drugs, particularly GHB. This is a danger to anyone taking them, whether intentionally or not. 

The California legislation was spearheaded by State Assemblymember Josh Lowenthal (D-Long Beach). 

“People want to go out and enjoy themselves without having a bull’s eye on their back,” he said, reports Easy Reader.

The new law will apply to around 2,400 establishments. This is sure to include some of the country’s best-known gay bars in cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles. 

If you’re out and you begin to feel unexpectedly nauseous, dizzy, disoriented, or drunk despite not consuming much alcohol, consider the possibility your drink may have been spiked and ask for help.

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