Scientific studies of the effect of alcohol consumption on human behavior show that there are three stages of behavioral change, determined by the amount of alcohol you consume. If you consume a small amount of alcohol, it helps you relax and removes tension. If you consume a larger amount, it removes your inhibitions. If you continue to consume alcohol, it renders you unable to resist the advances of an aggressor.
Due to the effect of alcohol on behavior, it is very common for people to consume alcohol prior to sexual activity. According to a study published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, approximately half of all sexual assault cases involve the use of alcohol by the victim, the perpetrator or both.
What is the definition of rape?
Under North Carolina law, you commit second-degree rape if you engage in vaginal intercourse with another person, against her will when she was physically helpless or with force. If you were in possession of a dangerous weapon at the time, inflicted serious injury on the victim, or another person assisted you, this constitutes first-degree rape, which carries a more severe penalty.
Can you be guilty of rape if your sexual partner had been drinking?
Sexual intercourse becomes rape if one of the sexual partners does not consent and is forced to submit to sex. As mentioned, alcohol consumption at a low level can cause your partner to lose his or her inhibitions and agree to engage in sexual activity. However, consumption of a larger amount can leave him or her unable to fight off an aggressor, and unable to provide true consent to sex. For this reason, if your partner was drunk, even if he or she appeared to agree to the act, it could be non-consensual sex. Similarly, if your sexual partner had been taking drugs, he or she may not have been in a state fit to provide valid consent.
Conviction for rape or sexual assault can have serious consequences.
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