‘Undercover Colors’ The New Litmus Test For Date Rape Drugs

‘Undercover Colors’ The New Litmus Test For Date Rape Drugs

in Sex Crimes, on

Cases involving allegations of date rape are very difficult to prosecute and defend. They involve complicated laws and fact patters, often dependant on “he said, she said” evidence. A conviction for date rape can lead to significant jail time and sex offender registration.

When the case involves date rape drugs, like Rohypnol, Xanax and GHB they become even more complicated. The defendant can face serious drug charges in addition to the sexual assault charges. A group of students from North Carolina State University believes they have a solution to this complicated product, and it involves a very common beauty product.

The students developed a nail polish that act as a sort of litmus test for date rape drugs that are odorless and colorless, making them hard to detect. The nail polish turns color when exposed to these substances. Their intent was that women would use their finger to stir a drink, alerting them to the potential presence of a drug.

The students aptly named the nail polish line “Undercover Colors.” They have already raised several thousands of dollars from investors to get the polish into production and on the shelves of retail stores. A single investor contributed $100,000 to the Raleigh-based company, and another $11,250 came from a contest award for entrepreneurial ideas.

The discussion begs the question “could the polish be considered evidence in a trial?” Prosecutors already use results from other substance-detection devices, like Breathalyzers, as evidence to support criminal charges.

These results tend to hold significant weight because jurors see them as a piece of irrefutable scientific evidence. The truth is that they are not always “irrefutable” or “scientific,” and a judge may exclude the results for many reasons, but it takes a good criminal defense attorney to spot unreliable evidence.

Source: WNCN, “Date rape nail polish closer to becoming a reality,” Kristin Stepneski, March 19, 2015