Crime Prevention Tip of the Week: Drug-facilitated sexual assault | SteamboatToday.com

Crime Prevention Tip of the Week: Drug-facilitated sexual assault

The Steamboat Springs Police Department and Routt County Crime Stoppers wishes you a joyous holiday season. With holiday parties in full swing, we are suggesting everyone take a few precautionary steps to protect themselves from "date rape" drugs.

• Party using the buddy system. Check in with friends every 20 minutes. If something seems strange, leave immediately. Watch for signs of overintoxication. If you are leaving the party, let your friends know where you are going and with whom. It’s a good idea to designate someone to be the sober “lookout” — someone who can drive and who can keep an eye on the situation.

• Do not accept drinks from anyone other than a bartender or waitress. Always open your own drinks if they are offered by someone else.

• Do not accept drinks from a punch bowl or other open container.

• Never leave your drink unattended. If you go to the bathroom, take it with you. If you get up to dance, finish it or take it with you. A friend left to watch your drink can get distracted easily.

• Don’t drink anything that has a funny smell, color or taste. If it seems strange, throw it out or call the police.

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Rape and sexual assault are widespread problems. The use of psychoactive drugs makes a dangerous situation even more dangerous. These substances impair a person’s ability to respond to a situation or to defend themselves if the need arises.

While there are no guarantees that you will not be sexually assaulted by following the aforementioned suggestions, they will greatly decrease the risk.

Steamboat Springs Police Department has obtained packets known as the "Drink Detective" that helps identify whether or not a "date rape drug" is in a drink. Feel free to stop by our front desk at 840 Yampa St. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays to pick one up.