The offence of spiking being covered under poisoning legislation is 'archaic' and needs change.
That is according to Labour's Justice Spokesperson Aodhan Ó Ríordáin, who has called on Justice Minister Helen McEntee to make spiking a specific criminal offence.
He told Newstalk Breakfast the current penalty is simply not strong enough.
"The offence of spiking isn't a standalone offence currently," he said.
"When we raised this with the [Justice] Minister by means of an amendment, she said that currently such an action would be dealt with under poisoning legislation, or the act of poisoning, which has a three years penalty - as opposed to the 10 years that we're suggesting.
"We would think that it's very different to spike somebody's drink to try to disable the person in order to commit a sexual offence.
"[This] is very different to trying to poison somebody.
"The Minister, in fairness, she did reflect on what we were saying - we didn't push the amendment at the time.
"She did accept that the penalties for poisoning doesn't really equate with what we're talking about in terms of spiking.
"We're going to pursue it and hopefully the Minister will have some reflection with her officials and come back, and we can work together on it".
Deputy Ó Ríordáin said this would not see a softening of any sexual assault prosecutions.
"That would be a separate offence for sexual assault or rape, and that is what it is.
"I think there's a different dynamic when somebody deliberately goes into a nightclub or a social setting, identifies somebody, interferes with their drink, uses a substance in order to effectively disable them... and then to exact an assault on them
"That is a very different, premeditated type of offence that we think needs to be stamped out."
He said the legislation has to catch up with the times.
"We have old law that deals with very new situations, and dealing with it under poisoning legislation really does reflect on sometimes that we have an archaic way of dealing with very new situations," he added.