Drink Coasters Can Test for Date-Rape Drugs

By Lita Beck
|  Monday, Nov 2, 2009  |  Updated 2:56 PM EDT
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Coasters Can Tell You If Your Drink Is Spiked

NBCDFW.com

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

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Coasters Can Tell You If Your Drink Is Spiked

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

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.

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