Can You Consent to Sex if You're Drunk?

Two white women with red hair hold glasses with drinks in them. Only their hands and arms and upper part of their bodies are pictured. Michael Discenza/Unsplash

How many drinks does it take to cross the line from “I’m not drunk. I can still consent to sex,” to “I am drunk. I can no longer consent to sex?” This article looks at defining consent when alcohol is involved, walks through several common scenarios, and asks us to remember that something may be unethical even if it is not explicitly against the law.

“There’s such a misconception of, well they’re in a relationship and they’ve had sex before, so what does it matter that this time she was passed out when he had sex with her? When really, it does matter. People have autonomy and they have the right to say no one time and say yes a different time, and when you are incapacitated you just don’t have that ability.”