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JUST IN: Police warn bar-goers after a spate of drink spiking reports

A cocktail (via Georg Pirrung/Wikimedia Commons)

There’s been a rash of reported drink spiking incidents in Clarendon and Crystal City, according to Arlington police.

The Arlington County Police Department says that it received six reports last month from women who believed their drinks were spiked.

“In each case, the female victims reported experiencing loss of consciousness and memory loss after visiting various nightlife establishments in Clarendon and Crystal City on weekend evenings and believe their drinks may have been tampered with,” the department said in a press release this morning (Friday).

Drink spiking, when someone puts alcohol or drugs into someone else’s drink without their knowledge or permission, is illegal in Virginia.

“These incidents remain active criminal investigations and the preliminary investigations have not identified a link between the reported cases,” ACPD said.

Police shared the following nightlife safety tips in response to the spate of spiking.

Safety Tips

ACPD wants you to have a safe and enjoyable night out and is sharing these tips to help safeguard your drink:

  • Never leave your drink unattended
  • Avoid sharing drinks with others
  • Do not accept drinks from strangers
  • If someone you do not know offers you a drink and you accept, go to the bar with them and have the drink served directly to you
  • If you did not see your drink poured, do not drink it
  • Keep an eye on your friends and their drinks

If you think your drink may be spiked or observe an individual spiking a drink, take action right away by calling 9-1-1.

Available Resources

If you suspect drink spiking or drug-assisted sexual assault, help is always available. Crisis response resources are available 24/7:

  • Arlington County Police, 703-558-2222 or 9-1-1 in an emergency
  • Doorways Dating/Domestic/Sexual Violence Hotline, 703-237-0881
  • Inova Forensic Assessment and Consultation Team (Forensic Exams), 703-776-4001 (ask to page a FACT Nurse)

Nightlife Safety

ACPD has partnered with County agencies to establish the Arlington Restaurant Initiative (ARI) to raise the standards of restaurants that serve alcohol, streamline processes within the County Government and maintain Arlington County as a safe destination for nightlife and entertainment. ARI provides training on various topics, including drink spiking, to improve patron safety. Restaurants can email the Restaurant Liaison for information on future training opportunities.

Photo via Georg Pirrung/Wikimedia Commons

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