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Night out at local bar leaves multiple women feeling drugged

Bartenders and health experts weigh in on how to protect yourself
Posted at 6:51 PM, Apr 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-06 06:10:51-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A night out at Imbibe bar downtown in March turned troublesome after multiple women reported feeling drugged there, according to the bar manager.

Now, it's bartenders are putting lids on their cups when serving in an effort to make customers feel safe.

"The fear of being drugged is widespread," said Julie Morrison, a forensic nurse for IU Health.

Morrison said hospitals aren't seeing a high volume of patients feeling drugged, but it takes these allegations seriously.

Morrison says there are several different date rape drugs out here that make testing difficult.

"We don't check for that class of drugs normally if somebody would come in and they are awake and talking. What we would do, is keep blood and urine from them and if and when they involve law enforcement but that doesn't happen very often it really doesn't," said Morrison. "Another problem with these drugs is they metabolize out of their system very quickly."

To avoid these concerns, keep your drink with you at all times.

When in doubt, pour it out.

"It's worth the money to buy you a new drink when you return versus having a bad experience," said Cliff Rawley, a lead instructor at Midwest Bartending School.

Behind the bar, with every shake, mix and pour, Rawley and his staff teach hundreds of bartenders how to properly serve drinks and not put themselves in a position to be accused of pouring something in a drink.

"One thing we instill on the very first day of class is we build drinks on the front bar. Build them in plain view of the guest. Make sure you never turn your back to the guest with a glass in your hand or build a drink underneath the bar where the guest will lose sight of that glass. We want to make sure they always have a visual on it. We don't want our bartenders or their employers to ever be drug into a legal issue," said Rawley.

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