Bar Watch program aims to prevent sex assaults fueled by booze, drugs

Too many reports of disoriented women waking up in strange beds after a night on the town has Fort Lauderdale police and bar owners taking a sober look at the root cause of some sexual assaults.

Police have teamed up with local bars and restaurants to launch Bar Watch, a program aimed at deterring sexual assaults through heightened awareness, training, best practices, and the use of special beverage coasters that can tell if an alcoholic beverage or other drink has been spiked.

Participating businesses will post Bar Watch decals on their windows to indicate the staff and police are working together to spot signs of trouble that are precursors to sexual assaults.

Police Chief Rick Maglione said many sexual assaults start with alcohol that someone blends with an illegal drug.

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