RESIDENTS, seasonal workers and visitors to the ski fields are being warned to be vigilant while socialising following a number of drink spiking incidents reported last winter.
Crime Prevention Officer for the Monaro Local Area Command, Senior Constable Naomi Nemec, said drink spiking was a serious issue with potentially lethal consequences and it was important people remembered to watch their drinks at all times.
"We all know how busy the licensed premises get over the winter months and it only takes a moment for someone to slip a potentially dangerous drug or unwanted alcohol into your drink and spike it," said Senior Constable Nemec.
NSW Health Drink Drive Prevention team have worked alongside officers from the Monaro Local Area Police Command and local health workers to increase community awareness of potential drink spiking.
Southern NSW Local Health District (SNSWLHD) Drink Drive Prevention Officer, Kimberley Clarke, said licensed venues in the region had been very supportive of the campaign and were keen to alert the general public about the potential issue.
"Research suggests that two out of three drink spiking cases occur in licensed premises, so we're encouraging establishments in the Snowy Mountains region to educate bar staff about drink spiking and what action to take.
"The penalties for drink spiking can include a hefty fine and up to 25 years imprisonment.
"Not many people realise that alcohol is the most commonly used drug in spiking incidents," said Ms Clark.
The campaign's tagline is Watch your drink, watch yourself, and watch your friends. The campaign is aimed primarily at snow season revellers.
A few strategies to prevent yourself from falling victim to drink spiking:
* Never leave drinks unattended.
* Buy your own drinks and know what you are drinking.
* Watch your drink service closely.
* Don't accept drinks from anyone you don't know and trust.
* Recognise out of character behaviour and report suspicious behaviour.
* Refuse strong tasting drinks.
* Don't drink taste other peoples' drinks.
* Tell someone where you are going and who with.
* If you feel strange tell a friend and go to a safe place.
* If you feel strange don't leave the premises with people you don't trust.