To prevent rape, West Hollywood shares spiked drink test

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In response to nightlife safety concerns, a new initiative is underway to curb the problem of spicy drinks and sexual predators in West Hollywood.

The city began distributing date-rape drug test kits to alcohol-serving places and some patrons from Monday. The package contains tests that detect whether someone’s drink has been intoxicated, also known as “rufid”—meaning sedated with Rohypnol (flunitrazepam) or a similar drug.

“This prevention could literally save a life,” West Hollywood Mayor Pro Tame Sepi Shine said. Shine and Councilor John Erickson proposed the initiative to the city council in February, and it was passed unanimously.

Shine also hopes the tests can act as a deterrent to any and all predators.

Each kit contains 10 tests that detect gamma hydroxybutyrate, also known as GHB or ketamine, two commonly used ones. date-rape drugs, Testers drop a small amount of liquid from their drink onto the test patch, which turns blue or red when drugs are present. Shine said restaurants and bars are free to display or advertise the kit.

West Hollywood spokesperson, the city handed over about 400 kits on Monday That said, additional distributions are planned for the future. Bars and restaurants can also request more kits from out of town.

Abbey Barr in West Hollywood confirmed she received some of the kits on Monday, but did not provide additional comment.

The decision to launch the trial comes amid concerns over safety, particularly between official and unofficial reports from people who believe they were “roofed” in West Hollywood. According to a report Los Angeles County Sheriff’s West Hollywood Station, by City Council in January Received There were 30 reports between 2016 and 2021 in which a victim believed their drink was tainted. Seven reports were made in 2020 and four reports were made in 2021.

All but one of these reports included allegations of sexual assault, specifically rape.

let’s say most sexual assaults Unreported, the actual number would certainly be much higher.

The city bought about 2,500 test kits in total and budgeted about $15,000 for the program in the 2021-2022 fiscal year, which includes support for the rollout. There is no additional funding for next year, but Shine said he expects the program to continue if it proves successful.

Last year, the city passed an ordinance for spectator intervention training for alcohol servers at West Hollywood locations. According to Danny Rivas, the city’s director of community safety, 1,900 workers have completed the training since it began in March, with at least 400 more expected to take the courses.

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