While alcohol use is not the cause of sexual assault, it is often a major contributing factor in sexual assault incidents. Alcohol and drugs impair a person’s decision-making capacity, awareness of consequences, and ability to make informed judgments. It is especially important, therefore, that anyone engaging in sexual activity be aware of the other person’s level of intoxication. If there is any doubt as to the level or extent of the other individual’s intoxication or impairment, the prudent course of action is to forgo or cease any sexual contact or activity.
The use of alcohol or other drugs does not minimize an initiator’s responsibility for perpetrating sexual assault or sexual misconduct. Being under the influence of alcohol or any other drug does not excuse behavior. In particular, it does not mitigate or nullify a charge of sexual assault or sexual misconduct.