Preventing Drink Spiking

Responsible Service of AlcoholThere is increasing concern about the dangers of drink spiking on licensed premises. Be aware that drink spiking is a criminal offence with a five-year jail term.

Drink spiking is not necessarily placing illicit drugs into a drink. It may well be ordering drinks for people with extra shots of alcohol, such as vodka. This has direct implications in the responsible service of alcohol.

Management should think of having a policy about the number of standard drinks they will serve in any one glass. Some establishments have a two standard drinks policy and will serve no more than two shots in any one drink. If they receive a request for cocktails with more than two alcoholic ingredients, they are poured in half shots.

Any request for drinks with shots of spirit added should be viewed with suspicion. Staff should look after people who suddenly appear intoxicated and scrutinise any person offering to assist them home. RSA staff can help by:

  • Getting any affected person to a safe, quiet place and stay with them

  • Call an ambulance if they become unconscious

  • Ensure that the person who is assisting them home is indeed a friend.

The best way to prevent drink spiking is to follow Responsible Service of Alcohol principles, and to:

  • Remove unattended glasses

  • Report suspicious behaviour

  • Do not sell or promote alcohol in a way that leads to rapid consumption

  • Be aware of unusual requests, such as beer with a shot of vodka

Decline a customer request to add alcohol to a person’s drink.