Austin/ Community & Society
AI Assisted Icon
Published on April 22, 2024
Austin Launches 'Sip Safely' Program Providing Drink-Spiking Test Kits to BarsSource: Ryan Friesen, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In a move to safeguard the nightlife, Austin has rolled out the 'Sip Safely' program, targeting a silent scourge—drink spiking. The city has begun issuing test kits to bars on Rainey Street as well as Sixth Street. The measure follows an amendment last year by council member Zo Qadri, directing $100,000 toward the distribution of these tests aimed at detecting drugs in beverages, as reported by KVUE.

Patrons are now empowered to test their drinks, ensuring they are untampered with—an initiative welcomed by bar owners. According to CBS Austin, Maryam Mosharraf, owner of establishments on Rainey Street exclaimed, "There's zero downside, and it's just an extra safety precaution."

The program is a response to a persistent safety concern in Austin's nightlife. Emily Clark, a visitor from New Orleans, told CBS Austin how the initiative instills confidence, especially for her bachelorette celebration. "Coming for something like this, which is a bachelorette trip, it gives us a lot of confidence that we're in a safe space," Clark said.

Furthermore, international tourists see the program’s potential beyond Austin. Dominic Sullivan from Amsterdam, having learned about the initiative, suggested its implementation back home. "I'm from Amsterdam, definitely a party city," he said, as per CBS Austin. "I know I've heard of horrible stories, so I think something like that would give people peace of mind."