Hotels Target prevention As Assault Figures Rise
Adelaide watering holes are collecting unattended drinks and encouraging buddy
systems to combat drink
The precautions come as Royal Adelaide Hospital figures show at least
three people a week are presenting
with suspected drink spiking this year.
RAH research fellow Dr David Caldicott, who is studying the
phenomenon, said testing showed that spiking
drinks with alcohol itself was far more
prevalent than illicit drugs.
Of the 170 people treated in the past
three years, only four alleging drink
spiking tested positive for GHB
(gamma hydroxybutyrate or fantasy).
"With the majority of people, our
research is showing the chances are
their drink is spiked with more alcohol
than they suspected," he said. "Instead of a single shot, they are being
purchased a double or a triple when
they don't want it -it definitely occurs.
"These are usually very sensible
people, not hysterical girls, who know
how much they can handle and are
convinced it wouldn't normally have
The Australian Hotels Association
says while it did not believe drink
spiking was widespread, a range of
preventative measures were being
promoted among member venues.
Public affairs manager Hamish
Arthur said a number of hotels were
encouraging bar staff to collect all
unattended drinks and promote a system where patrons paired up and
watched each other's drinks.
The Talbot Hotel in Gouger St said
while spiking was not an issue, staff
were told to clear unattended drinks.
"we just make sure any unattended
drink is picked up, and if somebody
comes back to pick it up, we are happy
to replace it," bar manager Melanie
Rothe said. "If we explain to them the
reason, they are quite willing to understand and embrace it."
Savvy nightclub, in Light Square,
has erected posters encouraging
people to watch Mends' drinks and
report any suspicious behaviour.
An Australian Institute of Criminology study found 1400 Australians a
year were sexually assaulted after having their drink spiked.
Yarrow Place Rape and Sexual Assault Centre said there had been a rise
in reports of sexual assaults after
suspected spiking. But director
Vanessa Swan was unsure if it was just
because more people were aware of
Sunday Mail 10-10-2004