Drink Safe Technologies Inc., based in Plantation, Fla., has come out with another product to go along with its line of fake snow and party foam; the date-rape coaster. Colleges and universities all over the United States and Canada are handing the coasters out to students as a form of date-rape prevention. But the truth is that this product gives only the illusion of protection and should be pulled off the shelves until there is more conclusive proof that it actually has the reported 95 percent accuracy rate or until the manufacturer puts a truthful warning on the coaster.
Francisco Guerra is a former magician and co-inventor of the “date-rape coaster,” which reportedly detects date-rape drugs in drinks that are spilled on it. The product reportedly is 95 percent effective in identifying date-rape drugs in any beverage splashed on it within 30 seconds. The company has sold 50 million coasters since their introduction in March.
However, according to a CNN.com report, forensic scientists at the Michigan State Police Crime Lab have reported that the coasters failed to react to the date rape-drug known as gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), one of only two drugs that co-inventor Brian Glover says it is guaranteed to detect.
The tests conducted by the crime lab showed that not only did the coaster not detect GHB, but in most cases, if it did detect the drug, it took anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours for the dark blue color that indicates the drugs’ presence to appear. That’s certainly not the 30 seconds that Drink Safe totes.
The bottom line here is that any girl in a club who pours her drink onto the coaster is expecting it to do a far better job then it actually will. Using this product is more likely to put you in a date-rape situation than to save you from one. Until Drink Safe takes its responsibility to consumers seriously and puts a truthful label on its product or improves it, then college students should rely on their own intuition rather than a cheap novelty item.