New California Law Requires Bars to Offer Drug Test Tools to Patrons Effective July 1

In an unprecedented move California has become the first state in the nation to mandate that bars and nightclubs provide patrons with drug testing kits and display warning signs about the dangers of “roofies.”

Assembly member Jowsh Lowenthal of Long Beach, a father of three daughters and owner of three restaurants, introduced the groundbreaking legislation, AB1310, to address what he describes as a “crisis that’s taking place that’s resulting in sexual assault, that’s targeting primarily women and members of the LGBTQ communities.”

Starting July 1, 2023, approximately 2,400 establishments holding a Type 48 liquor license will be required to offer drug testing kits to customers upon request, either free of charge or for a nominal fee.

These test strips, which have been available for several years and are commonly distributed at colleges, universities, and within the U.S. military community, enable individuals to check their drinks for the presence of common date-rape drugs.

In addition to providing the testing kits, the affected establishments must also display signage bearing the message, “Don’t get roofied! Drink spiking drug test kits available here. Ask a staff member for details.” This statement aims to raise awareness about the issue and empower patrons to take proactive measures to protect themselves.

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Lowenthal emphasized the urgency of addressing this underreported crime, stating, “By way of example, I have members of my staff that have been roofied, members of the legislative body that have been roofied.”