Essential Guide To California's New Alcohol Testing Kit Law

by Mona Deldar on Apr. 11, 2024

Accident & Injury 

Summary: Learn about the new law mandating alcohol testing kits in California nightlife venues. Find out how this initiative improves public safety.

California legislators will try to improve public safety and health within the nightlife industry this summer. A groundbreaking new law, set to take effect on July 1, mandates that certain establishments must now offer alcohol testing kit services to their patrons. These devices detect spiked drinks that could be harmful to unsuspecting customers. This initiative primarily targets venues holding a Type 48 license issued by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC).


These venues, which include bars and nightclubs, are now required to either sell or provide these alcohol testing kits at no cost. The legislation, known as Assembly Bill 1013, represents a significant stride towards enhancing safety across the state. In this article, we take a look at the new law from every angle so that you understand the specifics.


New Alcohol Testing Kit Law



AB 1013 requires that all Type 48 licensees display signage, informing patrons of the availability of drug testing kits. The kits reveal common date-rape drugs, colloquially referred to as ‘roofies.’ he mandated signage is to carry a cautionary message: “Don’t get roofied! Drink spiking drug test kits available here. Ask a staff member for details.”


The main goal of this law is to address the alarming concern over drink spiking, a reprehensible act that endangers individuals’ safety and well-being. With approximately 2,400 licensees impacted across California, the law signifies a monumental step towards curbing this issue.


Compliance & Implementation


For bar and nightclub owners, the law spells out clear guidelines for compliance. The responsibility of procuring these alcohol testing kits falls squarely on the shoulders of the licensees. It’s important to note that the ABC does not provide, sell, or endorse any specific testing kits. The establishments must source these vital safety tools independently. The available drug testing devices could range from test strips and stickers to straws or other devices capable of detecting substances like flunitrazepam, ketamine, and gamma hydroxybutyric acid.


Cost-Effective Safety Measure


One of the pivotal aspects of this legislation is its approach to accessibility and affordability. Licensees are given the option to either sell these drug testing devices to customers at a reasonable price or offer them free of charge. This flexibility ensures that all patrons, regardless of their financial situation, have access to these preventive measures.


The quick and user-friendly nature of the test strips makes the law a practical solution. A couple of drops of a beverage on a card can reveal the presence of harmful substances by changing color. That means just a few extra seconds can prevent massive potential danger.


Penalties For Non-Compliance


The stakes for establishments that choose to overlook this new mandate are high. License holders who fail to comply with the requirements of AB 1013 could face significant administrative actions that may jeopardize their licenses. This enforcement mechanism underscores the seriousness with which the state views the safety of its nightlife patrons and its commitment to eradicating drink spiking incidents.


Closing Thoughts


California’s introduction of the alcohol testing kit requirement through AB 1013 is more than a regulatory measure; it is call to action for the nightlife industry. It shows the state is prioritizing the safety and security of its citizens. By equipping individuals with the means to detect potential threats in their beverages, the state empowers them to protect themselves from harm. It’s a pioneering step that other states may look to as a model for enhancing public safety.


For more detailed information on compliance, available alcohol testing kits, and other specifics, visit the ABC’s website. As this law takes effect, it will be interesting to observe its impact on the culture of nightlife across California. If you or a loved one finds themselves in a troubling situation, Deldar Legal can help. Our award-winning attorneys know the new state laws and will be able to provide legal guidance.


The failure of an establishment to offer these new alcohol testing kits could lead to bar patrons sustaining injuries. And when that happens, you can pick up the phone and contact us at (844) 335-3271. The law is seen as a means to protect the most vulnerable from being victims. Nobody understands that more than our firm and we will always be here for you!

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