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Spiking Drink or Food

Spiking Drink or Food is an offence under Section 38A of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You caused another person to be given or consume drink or food
  2. That drink or food contained an intoxicating substance of which the other person was unaware, or contained more of an intoxicating substance than the other person would expect it to contain, and
  3. You intended the other person to be harmed by the substance

‘Harm’ includes includes any impairment of the senses or understanding which might reasonably be objected to in the circumstances.

‘Impairment’ includes to further impair.

Causing the drink or food to be given includes:

  1. Preparing it for the other person, or
  2. Making it available for the other person to consume

You are not guilty if you had reasonable cause to believe the other person would not have objected to consuming the drink or food if he or she had known of the presence and quantity of the intoxicating substance.

Using an intoxicating substance during dental, medical or other health professional practice is not an offence under the section.

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Self defence
  2. Duress, and
  3. Necessity

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