Nova Scotia

Watch your drinks, police and bar staff warn

Halifax Regional Police are warning bar patrons to be careful when leaving drinks unattended after they were called to a downtown bar last month because staff had seen a man emptying vials into someone else's glass.
Someone was seen emptying the date rape drug into drinks at a downtown bar in May. CBC

Halifax Regional Police are warning bar patrons to be careful when leaving drinks unattended after they were called to a downtown bar last month because staff had seen a man emptying vials into someone else's glass.

Police say the drink was then found to be laced with the date-rape drug GHB, but won't say where the incident took place.

At the Economy Shoe Shop, a Halifax bar, workers say they try to prevent similar incidents.

"You know, it's just proper and ethical to take care of people's drinks for them. So we don't have to do too much to make it policy, but it is policy," said Shelley MacPhail, general manager of the Economy Shoe Shop and the Seahorse Tavern.

Shelley MacPhail, general manager of the Economy Shoe Shop, says her staff tries to watch people's drinks if they need to leave them unattended. CBC

MacPhail said customers are free to take their drinks anywhere within the bar.

"But if people are going outside — say, to have a cigarette or moving to another side to talk to someone — they can leave their drinks with the bartenders behind the bar."

Ginevra Syperek, who works behind the bar at the Economy Shoe Shop, said bartenders can only do so much to protect customers.

"It's kind of up to the person. You know, you watch it as much as you can, but it's up to the person to be careful with their own drinks."

Syperek learned that lesson the hard way a few years ago. She was out with friends when someone slipped something in her drink. Syperek's friends looked after her to make sure she was okay.

MacPhail and Syperek also recommend using a coaster to cover your drink.

Police say bar patrons shouldn't leave drinks unattended or accept drinks from strangers.

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