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Consent Can Be Tricky When You’re Both Using Drugs Or Alcohol

On Behalf of The Foley Law Firm | April 21, 2022

Say you go to a college party, and everyone there is either drinking or using recreational drugs. You participate in this, and you later find yourself about to have an intimate encounter with another person from that party. This person was also using drugs and alcohol. Does this impact your situation in any serious legal ways?

It certainly can. Remember that you always have to have consent for a sexual encounter, and this remains true even if you have both been using any sort of substances that may influence your ability to make decisions. It can be difficult to get this consent – or to be sure that you have it – when both of you are impaired in some fashion.

What if you're accused of a crime?

The trouble comes if that person later decides to file a criminal report and accuses you of wrongdoing. How much do you even remember about what happened at that party? How much do they remember? Are there any other witnesses that are reliable, or was everyone there under the influence of drugs and alcohol?

This can be very complicated because the other person may honestly believe that they never gave you consent, but you may honestly believe that they did. One of you has an inaccurate memory of the night or has forgotten something, but it's difficult to say who if both of you were impaired. Even a slight level of impairment could lead to memory problems, and that's an issue when having these specific memories is so important to your case.

If you have been accused of a sex crime in this type of situation, you must know what legal options you have.

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