A protective cover for your cocktail

The new defense against date-rape drugs. Ingenious or just plain dumb?

By Tracy Clark-Flory
June 21, 2007 11:45PM (UTC)
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A reader tipped us off to an interesting development in Boston: A City Council member has drafted a measure that would require (or, in the very least, strongly encourage) bars to provide plastic drink covers to prevent patrons from being slipped roofies. The plastic cover would seal the glass, save an opening for a straw. "It's simplistic," said Stephen J. Murphy, the councilman behind the bill. "But it's ingenious in its simplicity."

Oh, but our dear reader disagreed and deemed the measure "dumb." Local restaurateurs and City Council members agreed and had a field day ridiculing the idea. "You can't drink a martini with a straw!" Charles M. Perkins, head of the Boston Restaurant Group, told the Boston Globe. Councilman John Tobin kidded, "How am I going to get the olive out of my martini with a cocktail cover? How about we do crazy straws, like the squiggly ones? Or why don't we just give everyone a thermos, or a fanny pack that you slide your drink into?" Or, as a Globe reader suggested online: Sippy cups for all!


All kidding aside, the measure wouldn't actually require that all patrons use the drink protectors, just that they be made available to them; and it certainly seems to have the best of intentions. But on the caution-paranoia spectrum, this measure falls in full into red-alert territory. C'mon, aside from keeping a watchful eye on your drink and going out with alert drinking buddies, there are tools out there (like the Drink Safe coaster, which detects the presence of common date-rape drugs) that seem more practical than applying a drink shield to every cocktail you consume. In defending against potential attackers, whether in a bar or the world at large, one has to draw the line somewhere.

Tracy Clark-Flory

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