Impaired consent is the inability to give coherent consent due to alcohol, drugs, mental illness or handicap.
Remember, consent needs to be freely and willingly given by all parties involved in a sexual act. Consent is ongoing, meaning that all parties are agreeing to the sexual acts during all times.
In order for this to be true and remain true, all participants must be capable of granting ongoing and coherent consent throughout the entire sexual encounter.
Someone too intoxicated by alcohol or drugs can’t give consent. Being incapacitated by alcohol or drugs means they are absolutely incapable of providing consent. Failing to recognize your partner is too drunk to give consent isn’t “drunk sex”. It’s sexual assault.
Sex and Intoxication
I’m not saying that just because two people have been drinking, they can’t have legal, consensual and enjoyable sex. I’m also not implying that anyone who has ever had sex after a few drinks has done something wrong. Almost everyone is capable of having a few drinks and remaining coherent enough to provide consent and happily engage in sexual activities.
The issue arises when one person has had enough to drink that they become extremely intoxicated. Alcohol is a drug that impairs the users judgement. It effects their ability to make decisions. This means, it effects their ability to give consent.
Is My Partner Too Drunk To Consent?
When you initiate sexual activity with someone, it’s your job to get consent. This means, clear, ongoing, coherent consent.
Your partner is too impaired to consent if:
- They are unable to stand without leaning on something
- They’re unable to form coherent sentences
- They’re going in and out of consciousness
- They have vomited
Approximately half of all sexual assaults involve alcohol in one way or another. Being drunk is not an excuse for committing sexual assault. If you’ve been drinking, it is your responsibility to know whether your partner is consenting to sexual activity.
Important Facts To Remember About Consent
- A person can’t give consent if they are unconscious or asleep
- Even if a person previously gave consent, if they are unable to give consent at the time, you don’t have consent
- If you feel that a person has had too much too drink, you shouldn’t initiate sexual activities
- A persons inability to say no does not mean yes
Having consumed alcohol NEVER makes sexual assault the victims fault. If you have not willingly and freely given consent, you have not consented regardless of whether or not there was alcohol in your system.