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Police investigating spiked drinks after women report losing consciousness at nightlife spots in Clarendon, Crystal City

Police are warning people to keep an eye on their drinks after several reports of women losing consciousness after visiting nightclubs in October.

ARLINGTON, Va. — Police in Arlington County are warning people to take caution after receiving several reports of possible spiked drinks over the last month.

During the month of October, Arlington County Police Department officers received six reports of possible drink spiking. In each case, the women victims reported experiencing loss of consciousness and memory loss after visiting various nightlife establishments in Clarendon and Crystal City on weekend nights, police said. The women told police they believed their drinks had been tampered with.

“At this point, all of them are being investigated as possible spiked drinks, however, as they're under active investigation, we’ll work to determine if any other possible crimes could have occurred," Ashley Savage, the Public Information Officer for the Arlington County Police Department said. 

Police said the incidents remain active criminal investigations and the preliminary investigations have not identified a link between the reported cases.

Drink spiking is when someone puts alcohol or drugs in someone's drink without their knowledge or permission. Doing so is illegal in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

“It's definitely scary, sadly to say it's not shocking to hear. It's a common thing that we hear nowadays. It's definitely really sad to hear, but we're not all that surprised,” Clarendon resident Abby Sohi said. 

A Clarendon bar manager told WUSA9 officers would be popping in the bar Friday and Saturday nights to have a presence and possibly deter anyone from tampering with someone's drink.

“Prior to this, we were really seeing restrictions in place related to nightlife during the pandemic," Savage said. "For a period of time we didn't have nightlife and then we had social distancing measures put into place. So as we get back into a more normal routine it's important that we remind community members that, unfortunately, these types of incidents can happen.”

ACPD offers the tips below to help people stay safe while enjoying a night out.

  • Never leave your drink unattended
  • Avoid sharing drinks with others
  • Do not accept drinks from strangers
  • If someone you do not know offers you a drink and you accept, go to the bar with them and have the drink served directly to you
  • If you did not see your drink poured, do not drink it
  • Keep an eye on your friends and their drinks

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