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Nightlife

The fully-loaded party safety kit

Because you can’t be too careful

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A whole lotta safety going on.
Photo: Tiffany Brown

“Drinker beware!” What, you’ve never heard that ages-old Roman maxim?! That’s probably because—unlike today’s average partiers—the Romans could hold their liquor (or at the very least knew the whereabouts of the nearest vomitorium). But if we were ancient Romans, we could never get all these James Bond-like party safety products to keep us going strong and safe into each New Year. Silly ancient Romans.

1 The Drink Detective

Think of it as a pregnancy test for your drink: Without it, you could end up with an unexpected—and unwanted—surprise. The smaller-than-a-business-card kit contains a tri-fold with three separate tests to check for gammahydroxybutyrate (GHB, a strong sedative), benzodiazepines (including Rohypnol or “Roofies” and Valium) and Ketamine (K, a potent tranquilizer). With the miniature pipette, a drop from the suspected drink is placed on the three test areas for each of the main date-rape drugs to see if someone sketchy is trying to take you home against your will. And remember: Date rape can happen to guys, too. –Deanna Rilling

$5.50 for one test, $13 for three; drinkdetective.com

2 DanceSafe pill testing kit

Note: Drugs are illegal. If you sell, possess or ingest drugs in a nightclub, they’ll kick you out. Or worse, you could go to jail. Or die. That said, some people are going to take illegal substances anyway, and that’s where DanceSafe comes in. DanceSafe is a “nonprofit, harm-reduction organization promoting health and safety within the rave and nightclub community.” Besides educating the electronic dance music and nightclub world around the country about safe sex, driving home safely and hearing protection, it provides adulterant screening and pill-testing services for MDMA (Ecstasy) users. DanceSafe says some pills can contain substances far more dangerous than real Ecstasy. Their aim is to assist recreational users in identifying what they’re about to ingest. DanceSafe’s kit can distinguish between real E and more common, more toxic substitute drugs like DXM, the drug in cough syrup that imparts “medicine head.” Another two-part test offered checks for the inferior psychedelic drug MDE instead of MDMA, and a third can check for speed-like substances. –DR

$25-$50; dancesafe.org

3 Personal Alarm

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Even though casinos have surveillance cameras up the wazoo, it’s still a little scary to walk back to your car all alone through an empty parking garage in the middle of the night. Since casinos don’t allow weapons such as pepper spray or batons, one alternative is a personal alarm. Small enough to fit on a keychain, the alarm blasts out 130 decibels of deterrent, help-attracting noise as well as a flashing light. Since the last thing muggers want is to be noticed, loud noise and light generally makes them go away. The fob can also be used as a flashlight and has a test/pulse button emitting shorter warning bursts of sound. –C. Moon Reed

$9.95; pepperspraycenter.com

4 Drink Safe coasters

Dr. Brian Glover, Drink Safe co-creator and scientific coordinator, originally envisioned the company’s date-rape drug-detection coasters in bars and clubs around the country at no cost to patrons. “I wanted them to be available at bars as a deterrent,” he says, as the mere presence of the coasters could ward off potential incidents of drink-spiking. “It was done with the best intentions, but received resistance.” However, he says the coasters, which test for GHB and K, have been welcomed at colleges and universities in orientation kits. Dr. Glover adds that the coasters can be custom-designed to suit a client’s needs, and the company would be willing to donate the product for awareness events. –DR

40 cents each; drinksafetech.com

5 Nap Zapper

You’re sober but exhausted. You just want to get home after a long Vegas night or morning. Your eyes start to close. You jerk them open. Then they start to close again … According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, falling asleep while driving causes approximately 1,500 fatalities a year. While nothing replaces a good night’s sleep, there is a little gadget that can make the trip home safer. The Nap Zapper is a small device you put on your ear (looks kind of like a Bluetooth device) and it detects when your head nods and then emits a loud noise, waking you up. Complements an energy drink. –CMR

$10.99; pepperspraycenter.com

6 BreathKey Breathalyzer

“You’re drunk.”

“No, I’m not.”

“Yes you are. Blow this.”

“Well, since you put it that way …”

You and your friends have had a few drinks, possibly a few too many. The handy-dandy BreathKey Breathalyzer is a convenient and reusable digital tool to gauge blood-alcohol content (BAC), i.e., how intoxicated you are. Sure, it isn’t going to take away your keys or tell you if you’re too impaired to get behind the wheel. That’s up to you, and it’s never a good idea to drive after drinking, despite a low Breathalyzer reading result. With BreathKey, you can see how tipsy everyone really is with an actual number and finally prove why you need a cab or should call Designated Drivers at 702-456-RIDE to get you and your car home safely. And with the convenience of the keychain device, it’ll be with you wherever you go, so there will be no excuses now that you have a BAC estimate. –DR

$69.95; breathkey.com

7 2 Love My Lips gloss

Safe is sexy. A new product on the market out of the U.K. aims to give women the confidence to look beautiful and stay in control. Launching this year, what looks like five sassy lip glosses promote awareness for partiers in addition to plumping lips and giving the wearer minty-fresh breath. But hold up, potential drink-spikers: this lip gloss comes with a drink spike detector kit concealed in each box. The first of many cosmetics in the 2 Love My line, the testing kit is a treated slip of pink paper that can detect the presence of GHB and Ketamine just by applying a drop of the suspected beverage on each end of the paper—a litmus test for proceed or do not pass go. –DR

£9.99 (or about $16 each); 2lovemylips.co.uk

8 Guardian Angel BAC test

Times are tough, but Guardian Angel blood-alcohol test strips offer a cheaper and more discreet DUI alternative. Place the strip in your mouth for 15 seconds and match the color of the strip to the provided Risk Meter. Though the results aren’t as specific as a Breathalyzer, they will tell you the range of your BAC: Below .04; .04 or higher; .08 or higher. –CMR

$1.39 for two strips; guardianangel.com

9 Money Belt (not pictured)

If you’re lucky enough to get bottle service at a nice club, then you can safely stash your belongings in the table’s built-in storage bins. But for the rest of us, we can dance the night away without the fear of pick-pocketing by wearing a money belt. Nowadays, there’s a belt for every outfit. The old-school pouch that goes under the clothes offers invisibility and versatility (and is ideal for women’s wear that could not fashionably include an exterior belt). Now there are even regular-looking belts that contain a long secret pouch on the backside of the belt. Or, ladies can always use the old money between the boobs trick. Hide it in plain sight. –CMR

All-terrain money belt: $18; Under Cover Money Case: $13; eaglecreek.com

Leather money belt: $69; orvis.com

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