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Drink Coasters Can Test for Date-Rape Drugs

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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Drink Coasters Can Test for Date-Rape Drugs



    Drink coasters at several North Texas bars can test for substances such as GHB and ketamine.

    One of the coasters played a role in the arrest of a reserve Dallas police officer who is accused of spiking women's drinks at a Greenville Avenue bar.

    Police said a bartender at the Sugar Shack saw reserve Officer Brad Hellums put something in two women's drinks. The bartender then went across the street to the Whiskey Bar to get one of the Drink Safe coasters, providing police with evidence, said bar manager Neil Ludwig, who runs several bars that use the coasters.

    They can test a drink for substances such as GHB and ketamine, two popular "date-rape" drugs.

    It tells you that there is something foreign in that drink that shouldn't be there," said Dennis Burns of Drink Safe Texas, which makes them.
    Testing a drink is simple. The coaster has colored dots on the corners that change color if the drink is spiked.

    "And you can do that with your finger in the drink or the straw," Burns said.
    The Sugar Shack now uses the coasters.

    Establishments that offer them have a sign on the door to let people who might try to spike drinks know that there's a better chance they'll be caught.

    "We want our customers to feel safe when they go out to drink," Ludwig said. "We want them to feel like it's secure and safe in our establishment."

    The coasters cut into profits by about 40 cents each, but Ludwig said they are worth it.

    "It's not a cheap thing for us to do, but we want our customers to feel safe," he said.

    Drink Safe Texas also sells caps you can carry in your pocket to cover a beer bottle when it's unattended, as well as pocketsize drink testers such as the coasters that can be carried in a purse.


    By LITA BECK

    http://www.nbcdfw.com/around-town/f...rs-Can-Test-for-Date-Rape-Drugs-63822357.html

Comments

  1. Potter
    This is an excellent idea, FAR better then the coasters a local gay bar had that said "place on top of drink so bar tender knows you've stepped out." and your drink is unattended and ripe for doping with drugs...
  2. Terrapinzflyer
    Date-rape drug detector helps in Dallas arrest

    LEXINGTON - The news gave Francisco Guerra a sick feeling in his gut.

    Guerra, president of SnowMasters, had just found out a female friend was the victim of a sexual assault.

    "I knew somebody who was date raped, and I couldn't believe nobody had a product to stop it," he said.

    Guerra, who already had his snow-making industry up and running at the time, decided to add something completely different to his product line: A device that detects common date-rape drugs GHB and ketamine.

    "I had the resources, so I tracked down the chemistry of the drugs," Guerra said. "My co-inventor, Brian Glover, and I decided to really go after it."

    The result was a 2002 invention called DrinkSafe, a line of products including test strips and coasters that turn blue when they come in contact with date-rape drugs.

    "We've sold millions," Guerra said. "We've gone to every major university."

    Distributors also take the products to bars, including one in Dallas where it helped in the capture of someone suspected of trying to lace the drinks of two women with cocaine. Ketamine is a substance in the drug, and a DrinkSafe coaster detected it.

    The incident in early September, which led to the arrest of Brad Hellums, 46, a Dallas reserve police officer, made major news in Texas, according to reports. He is charged with tampering with a consumer product, possession of cocaine and public intoxication.

    Guerra and Glover are thrilled by the news.

    "It's always great to see when a product works like it's supposed to and stops a crime at the same time," Glover said. "The product's strength is in the fact that it's a deterrent."

    Glover said the irony in the Hellums case is the bar where he is accused of slipping the drug into the drink had earlier turned down a DrinkSafe distributor.

    "They said it sounds great, but they don't have that problem in their bar," Glover said.

    Fortunately, a bartender at the restaurant noticed the suspect slip the substance into the drink, Glover said. The bartender knew the bar across the street has DrinkSafe coasters, so he called police and went to the other bar, got a coaster and tested the drink. A spot on the coaster turned blue, and Hellums was arrested.

    Dennis Burns, the Texas distributor for the product, said DrinkSafe does more than detect a tampered drink. It deters people from tampering.

    "It's basically like inoculating your bar," Burns said. "If someone wants to put something in a drink, they have the choice between a place that has DrinkSafe products and one that doesn't. Knowing what they're doing is a felony, which one do you think they'll choose?"

    Burns commends the bartender for his actions.

    "If he had not seen what was going on, that could be two dead women," he said.

    Selena Rachelle is the victims services coordinator for Rape Response, an organization that helps victims of sexual assault in Colbert, Franklin, Lauderdale, Lawrence and Marion counties. She said Rape Response often deals with individuals, especially women, who suspect they have been given a drink containing a debilitating drug.

    "We hear that a lot," Rachelle said. "We're never really sure; we think is sounds a lot like a date drug was used. Of course, we also (classify) alcohol as a date drug" when consumed in high quantities, she said, because of its debilitating effects.

    Date rape cases are difficult to investigate, officials say.

    Tuscumbia Police Chief Tony Logan said it's not common to hear of date rape drug cases locally.

    "That's not to say some individuals don't think something may have been slipped into their drink that renders them vulnerable," he said.

    Rachelle said as the general population becomes more aware of date-rape drugs and what to do to avoid becoming a victim, perpetrators try to work around it.

    Rachelle said she has encountered stories where the attacker will put a date rape drug in ice cubes where it is released as the ice melts in the drink. She said the DrinkSafe product could be especially beneficial for a quick check.

    Guerra said his company continues to produce DrinkSafe, which was named one of Time magazine's best products of 2002.

    "There's still so much demand for it that we keep producing it," he said.

    Glover said he hopes the news of the Dallas incident and the DrinkSafe product helps raise awareness about date rape.

    "It's still a crime that's happening," he said. "Date rape doesn't get reported enough.

    "And these drugs aren't always necessarily used for sexual assaults. They can be used to knock somebody out and rob them."


    By Bernie Delinski
    Staff Writer

    http://www.timesdaily.com/article/2...te-rape-drug-detector-helps-in-Dallas-arrest#
  3. kailey_elise
    Ummm....did I miss something? Does the bolded portion seem, well, strange to anyone else???!?

    ~Kailey
  4. Birkill
    Ketamine cut with cocaine??maybe?Dont make sense really but theres always some sort of bit of bs in anti drug related articals!
  5. jgarlopa
    This is good news to Cowboy. In high school, one of his good friends was raped by a guy who gave her some ruphies and E's. Not sure if he put them in her drink, but after she sent a letter to Cowboy and the rest of their pals at school detailing what had happened, and how she was drunk and high when this happened, nobody saw her again. Cowboy is a firm believer in making one's one choices and is okay with the moderate use of recreational drugs, but is glad there's someone out there now who is trying to deal with those who take advantage of innocent, good people. Hopefully someone else's friend's life might be saved by this new device.
  6. xenos
    yeah sounds like we have a fractal situation here! might as well be "ketamine is a drug in the drug".... :applause:

    So how do these coasters work?? I hope they test for benzos, opiates, and perhaps muscle relaxers as well. All of these seem candidates more likely to be used as a date rape drug when compared to cocaine.
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