College culture has proven to be a contributor to the epidemic-like rates of sexual misconduct of all forms on campuses across the nation. In an atmosphere where partying and substance use is oftentimes rampant, many, if not most, incidents of sexual assault are facilitated by drugs.
The sweeping existence of voluntary or involuntary drug and alcohol use in sexual assaults has immensely complicated school adjudication processes. School employees and students - who are tasked with mitigating cases - fumble with intricate concepts like incapacitation to make decisions based on a he-said-she-said narrative. Whether the current Title IX resolution model has been effective, particularly in more complex cases involving drug use, depends on who you ask. Regardless, it's important to understand how drugs muddle the already complex Title IX resolution process.
Drugs and Incapacitation
Consent is obtained when all parties give permission, or explicitly say “yes” to sexual encounters with other persons. It is always freely given and can be taken away at any point in a sexual interaction. There are certain circumstances when consent cannot possibly be given, regardless of what a party does, says, or implicates. Mental or physical incapacitation is a condition in which consent is ineffective.
To better understand the concept of capacity, you must understand impairment. Incapacitation is the second highest level of impairment. It's more severe than being under the influence and intoxication but is a state of impairment less extreme than overdose. Most people compare incapacitation to being blackout drunk. But essentially, it's a state in which a person is incapable of making sound decisions, and therefore not able to consent.
Involuntary and voluntary incapacitation
High rates of both involuntary and voluntary drug-facilitated assaults are prevalent on college campuses. College culture is unfortunately embedded with drug use. Some students voluntary take drugs and drink alcohol to let loose and have a good time. Sometimes this can bring about good things - people are friendlier, funnier and have less anxiety about social interactions. But it can also draw out not so good things - people do risky things that they wouldn't normally do while sober, and find themselves in uncomfortable and unsafe situations.
In some circumstances, students are involuntarily given drugs to purposely compromise their ability to consent. Illegal substances like Rohypnol (roofies) GHB and GBL are dropped in the drinks of unknowing victims who are targeted by perpetrators, all in an effort to incapacitate them. If a school concludes that this is the case, expulsion is almost always the appropriate sanction for this misconduct.
Title IX Attorney Helping Clients Nationwide
If you've been accused of being involved in a drug-related sexual assault, you need the help of an attorney. These allegations expose you to serious ramifications that will completely derail your educational and professional journey. The only way to make sure your voice is heard and your rights are upheld is to retain a student defense attorney. National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento has the skill, experience, and expertise to help you preserve your entitled rights under Title IX and your school's policy. For a case evaluation or more information about his representation, contact him online or give him a call at 888-535-3686 today.