It’s always important to get consent from a potential intimate partner. This is even more important if you’re not in a relationship with the person, or perhaps you’ve only met them that day. You should never assume that you have consent or try to “read between the lines.”
This can get complicated, especially in situations for college students when drugs and alcohol are being used. It is possible to ask for consent under these situations, and it is possible for someone to give it, but it is also more likely that such a thing would be overlooked. Drugs and alcohol can make it easier to act impulsively or to skip this important step in the process.
The important thing is to know that the other person is not incapacitated in any way and that they are freely offering their consent. Even if they give it, you could still face legal charges if it’s determined that they were not in a mental state where giving consent was possible.
Two people may tell different stories
Another potential problem in a situation like this is that you and the other person may tell very different stories about what happened, you may have different memories of what occurred or you may simply interpret those events differently. A classic example is when you think that the other person gave you their consent and they claim that they did not. There may not be any other witnesses who can testify either way, so it is your word against theirs.
If this happens to you, it is critical that you understand all the defense options you have. These types of allegations can have a serious impact on your college career and the rest of your life.