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01 Jul 2022

Laois student invents hack to prevent spiking of drinks

Student Unions in Ireland issue stark warning amid growing issues of 'spiking'

Laois student invents hack to prevent spiking of drinks

As stories increase of drinks being spiked with drugs in Irish colleges, a Laois student has come up with a free design to keep her and others safe.

Alex Kelly from Ballickmoyler, a student at Carlow IT, came up with her eco friendly and low cost idea after witnessing a girl collapsing after having her drink spiked.

See her design at end of story. 

"After a night out with my friend last week I have had yet another reality check. The realisation as to just how dangerous it has become in today’s climate. My friend and I went on our first night out since returning to college. Just the two of us, celebrating an overdue girl’s night. Then at 9pm in the bar we witnessed a girl who had fallen victim to drink spiking.

"As she was carried from the venue a sudden unease fell over the two of us being two girls, alone in a bar. We called our male friend and explained, and he happily joined us after his work shift to put us at ease and allow us to enjoy the
rest of our night.

"When I started going out the warning was to not get a taxi home alone as a girl but now it’s a case where I can’t even say that its safe for a girl to be in a bar alone.

"There are devices and fittings available to buy to protect your drink on a night out. But as a student I understand that every penny counts. And splurging €25 on a drink protector that I might lose on a night out isn’t something that’s encouraging to me. There are also disposable “drink condoms” available for a lower price but then we enter the issue of eco friendly and contributing to that topic.

"After finding myself awake thinking about this issue I designed a drink protector. In an attempt to help keep others safe and help protect people in bars and nightclubs I am sharing this easily made cardboard disk which sits on the top of your drink to prevent attackers from spiking your drink. The design is a simple 10cm disk with a hole in the centre for your drinking straw and two tabs which fold into the glass to hold your cover in place. An item anyone can make on their own with the use of a scissors and some cardboard from a cereal box even," she said.

Alex asks why drink venues are not providing covers themselves.

"They are already providing us with beer mats to protect their tables so why not provide customers with drink protectors to protect themselves," she said.

See her guides to making the drink protector on her nature blog website, www.flower-child.ie

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