Hotelier pushes for drink spiking tests
By ZOE SATHERLEY
LISMORE licensee Brad Stamp wants his pub and nightclub to be the first venue in Australia to use a new drink spike detection kit.
Mr Stamp, the licensee of Mary Gilhooley's Irish Pub and Restaurant, One nightclub and Lismore Liquor Accord president, said drink spiking had been identified as a problem across the Northern Rivers, with an increasing number of incidents.
Last Saturday The Northern Star published a story about a 30-year-old mother who was sexually assaulted and battered after her drink was spiked at Lennox Point Hotel three weeks ago.
Many hotel licensees are increasing measures to protect patrons following the recent attacks.
Mr Stamp yesterday threw his support behind a new device that can quickly detect when a drink has been spiked.
The test kit is a credit-card-sized cardboard drink coaster impregnated with a chemical that can reveal the presence of both gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and ketamine.
A drop of any drink ? alcohol, soft drink or water ? is placed on the coaster and rubbed in with a finger.
If the spot turns blue the drink has been spiked with either GHB or ketamine. The results take just a few seconds.
"It sounds fantastic. I'm very interested in trialling it and will be inviting the distributor up to speak at the Liquor Accord's first annual meeting next month," Mr Stamp said.
"We are interested in doing everything we can to prevent drink spiking.
"It is a problem, and we are the first people to call an ambulance if we suspect one of our patrons has been the victim of drink spiking."
Dean Sunshine, Melbourne based distributor of Drink Safe Technologies, who make the test kits in the USA, said they are already in common use in the USA, New Zealand, UK, EU, South Africa and Singapore.
More info: www. drinksafetech.com.au or phone 03 9387 7444. One card (two tests) costs 75 cents.