Skip to main content

Lowenthal Bill To Require Bars And Night Clubs To Offer Drug Testing Devices To Prevent Drink Spiking Clears First Policy Committee

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO - Assemblymember Josh Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) announced today one of his two bills to help prevent drink spiking —AB 1013 passed its first legislative committee, the Assembly Government Organization Committee, with bipartisan support, by a 18-0 vote on Thursday, April 13, 2023.

AB 1013, will require Type 48 licensees to offer for sale to customers drug testing devices, such as test strips, that can detect the presence of controlled substances that are commonly used to spike or lace an individual’s drink, more commonly referred to as “roofying” and is often used as a means to facilitate sexual assault.

Assemblymember Lowenthal, who himself is a bar and restaurant owner, said, “The under-reported epidemic of drink spiking or roofying continues to plague California and the world. Unfortunately, drink spiking is often used to facilitate the commission of other crimes, such as sexual assault and rape. While anyone can have their drink spiked, the targets of this act are all too often women and LGBTQ+. Although drink spiking can occur in almost any setting, it is more common in bars and nightclubs that serve alcoholic beverages. Type 48 licensees are the primary operators of these types of establishments.”

Drink spiking is often an elusive crime and it can be difficult to catch perpetrators in the act and victims, who have already been drugged, may be disoriented, incapacitated, appear to be inebriated, unable to identify or communicate who the perpetrator may be, or may not know who spiked their drink in the first place. Once someone has been roofied, it is frequently too late to prevent the drugged individual from falling victim to another crime, such as sexual assault or rape. Furthermore, once someone has been drugged, the controlled substances usually pass through their system overnight and the presence of these substances is undetectable after the individual first urinates in the morning and would not be detectable without laboratory testing of hair follicles approximately 30 days after ingestion.

“Due to the challenges of addressing and prosecuting this crime after it has taken place, preventative measures are a commonsense way to try to curb the instances of drugging that are taking place in Type 48 establishments,” said Lowenthal.

AB 1013 now moves on to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. A hearing date is yet to be set.