My understanding is that the legal limit for being considered drunk, .08 or .1 depending on the state, is what is used to define consent vs. non-consent.
Granted, a borderline case is impossible to prove after the fact. But for the most part, instances of alcohol-related date rapes likely occur at BACs much higher than that.
It's considered the point by which you are now mentally impaired. We tend to think of it that way, because we think about the deteriorated control of our bodies as the rational for deciding it's the drunk driving threshold, but it's also correlated with a massive reduction in our inhibitions and other rational processes. Those begin at a lower point, but this is when they start to get severe.
.12 is generally where the "wasted" symptoms would begin. That's relative to each person, and their own developed resistance, but your ability to make rational decisions will be seriously impaired at that point. You lose ability to absorb and process information, etc.
So legally, consent requires that a person be below the legal limit.
The problem, of course, is that it can be extremely difficult to prosecute this forms of rape regardless of how drunk you were. Assuming, at least, you don't have reliable witnesses regarding how drunk you were.
Absolutely. The problem there is that we send mixed messages, not just from society and media, but also from those who get perhaps a bit too excessive in the cause of fighting rape. It would perhaps be useful to settle on some reasonable standards somewhere between "if a chick is drunk it means she wants to have ***" and "if you have *** with a woman who's consumed a single sip of alcohol, it's rape".
There is a clear threshold. It's not super easy to use, but it's clear. It's usually pretty clear when someone has reached the point they shouldn't be driving, legally. Same exact scenario.
As with all things, when in doubt, don't put your ***** in it. Edited, Jun 5th 2013 8:55pm by idiggory