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Why Drugs and Alcohol Can Often Complicate Sexual Consent

Drugs and Alcohol

No one wants to be accused of sexual violence, especially if they thought things were consensual. But when drugs and alcohol end up in the mix, it all gets fuzzy, both in your head and with legal consent.

As a ďdate rape drug,Ē alcohol is more popular than roofies (drugs used to spike someoneís drink). According to statistics, nearly 11 million women are raped while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of the two.

The problem is that most of these ďrapesĒ were not intentional. The other party thought the action was wanted by both parties until the effects of the drug or alcohol wore off. Then, they ended up accused of sexual violence.

Still, the results are the same. Sexual consent thatís complicated isnít quite considered consent in a court of law.

For a person to give consent, they have to be willing to participate in an activity voluntarily. This permission must be an active and oral agreement between all parties involved and canít be forced or coerced. It also canít be given under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Sexual activity that doesnít meet all of these criteria falls under the label of sexual assault.

If the other party didnít say no, but they didnít say yes, either, they didnít consent. You must have a clear, verbal affirmation that they agree to and want the action to occur. If you know that they are drinking or using drugs, they cannot legally give consent, and you need to walk away. Even if they donít look intoxicated, the presence of alcohol or drugs in their system is enough to convict you later if they change their mind.

And if youíve had sexual interactions in the past, that doesnít give you permission to move forward with another one now. Consent needs to be obtained on each occasion, and it needs to be specific for the new set of actions that would be occurring.

One more thing about consent: Itís possible for the other person to say yes in one moment and then no in the next. You need to listen to the no. Itís the final word.

Consent, or lack thereof, is one of the hardest things to prove in a case. If youíve been accused of sexual assault, youíll need sex crime attorneys who are skilled in this area.

Because we still live in a society where gender biases influence judgment and juries, it usually falls on the defendant to show the burden of proof.

Men are stereotyped as sexually aggressive, and women are the weaker gender. Youíll need a defense that proves the other party did show interest, was willing to engage in the act, and consented at some point.

When drugs or alcohol are involved, either in your system, theirs, or both, things will get more complicated. The lines of consent are blurred, and itís up to you and your attorney to keep you safe from the charge of sexual assault.

And if you havenít been accused of these charges yet, remember to walk away from any situation where consent isnít clear, and drugs or alcohol are involved. It could save your life as you know it.