Alcohol is commonly used to wind down and have fun. However, when someone drinks too much, it can make them do things that they really do not want to do. Having too much to drink can also make a person “blackout” and not realize what is happening to him or her.
If you have sex with someone who is too intoxicated to actually consent, you could end up facing sexual assault charges.
Can an intoxicated person consent?
According to FindLaw, sexual consent requires that your partner is able to understand the “nature of the act” which is happening. There is no set level of intoxication that qualifies as a lack of consent since alcohol affects everyone differently. While one person may be slightly intoxicated and able to consent, another may not be able to consent under the same amount of alcohol.
It is important to look for signs of intoxication before consenting to sex with another person yourself. If your partner has trouble standing or is slurring heavily, they may be too intoxicated to consent to sex. If your partner gives any indication that he or she may lose consciousness due to too much alcohol, it is important to cease any sexual activity. He or she is not able to consent in that condition.
What happens if I thought the other person was consenting?
If you find yourself facing rape charges after a sexual encounter due to lack of consent by intoxication, you may be able to use the consent defense. For this defense to be successful, however, you must be able to prove that the other person was able to make the decision to have sex at the time.