New Nail Polish will Detect Date Rape Drugs Discreetly (CA Penal Code 261)

Rabin Nabizadeh
September 1, 2014

While their product is not for sale as of yet, Undercover Colors has already caused a media stir.  It’s no secret that the problem of rape, especially with the use of date rape drugs such as GHB (“G-juice”) and Rohypnol (“roofies”).  This new clear nail polish would change color in the presence of such drugs.  The idea is that anyone could wear this nail polish, dip it in their drink, and check to see whether someone has added something they shouldn’t have.  Creating such a product has not been without its challenges, however.  Detractors say that these preventatives, while innovative and interesting, only address a solution, not the root of the problem.  Critics also claim that the new polish assumes that rape only happens in certain circumstances, like at bars, clubs, and parties, and only through the use of these drugs.  However, many others contend that it’s a step in the right direction as far as self-defense is concerned and that the product will prove more useful than not.

According to California law, ‘date rape’ is defined as any non-consensual intercourse between persons who are dating or otherwise spending a lot of time together (CA Penal Code 261).  One aspect that the courts take into account in date rape cases is the alleged victim’s consent when it comes to intoxication.  In other words, involuntary intoxication (as in being ‘drugged’) definitely counts as rape by California standards.  However, even voluntary intoxication (when the accuser has not been forced to drink, but does so willingly) can be considered date rape when, for example, they are too drunk or otherwise intoxicated to give their consent.  As you can see, the main issue is one of consent, which is typical in most rape cases.  Rape is always considered a felony in California and, if convicted of rape, a person could spend up to 8 years in state prison and have to register as a sex offender for the rest of their lives.

 

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