Drink spikers face life in jail

DRINK spikers could spend the rest of their life in jail. Gladstone police said giving a drug to someone without their consent had a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Yesterday The Observer reported the drink spiking of a Gladstone woman.

The woman was rushed to hospital and lost her unborn baby during the weekend as a result of the incident.

The 35-year-old woman said she was the ninth victim of drink spiking in the past two weeks the hospital had seen. Police are investigating the incident and recent spate of drink spiking.

Sergeant Kevin Whicker said the offender could be charged with a range of offences depending on the seriousness of the effects upon the victim such as unlawful killing and rape.

'This offence attracts a maximum sentence of life imprisonment ... in addition, an offender could be further charged with any other offences he committed after spiking the drink (eg rape),' Sgt Kevin Whicker said.

Sgt Whicker said there were a number of measures people could take to protect themselves from drink spiking such as always keeping an eye on their drink and looking out for friends' drinks.

'People should be careful, watch their drinks and not accept drinks from other people,' he said.

There are a number of reasons people spike drinks and it can lead to assault, robbery, sexual assault and unsafe sex, and health effects from the consumption of drugs.

A spiked drink could be a prescription drug or what are commonly known as date rape drugs, however drink spiking could also take the form of putting alcohol in a non-alcoholic drink or by adding extra alcohol to an alcoholic drink.

One in five drink-spiking victims are men although the most common victims are young women aged 15 to 30.

There are more than 40 drugs that can be used for drink spiking and some of them can be fatal. Queensland Health advises potential victims to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Providing a urine or blood sample soon after the drink spiking, or the suspected drink, could help police prove the drink was spiked.

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