Alcohol and Maryland Title IX Investigations

Alcohol plays a large role in social life on Maryland’s college campuses. Even if those consuming alcohol are of legal age, these drinks can impair their judgment and compel them to take actions that they would not do when sober.

Making matters worse, alcohol can be used as a tool to take advantage of others. Consuming even a few drinks can loosen one’s inhibitions. Binge drinking can cause people to black out and not remember what happened to them. These facts can complicate many investigations into alleged sexual harassment or sexual violence.

As a result, alcohol plays a large role in many Maryland Title IX investigations. Whether a defendant claims that they were not acting like themselves because of drinking or an alleged assault was aided by alcohol, the role of drinking in many Title IX investigations cannot be overstated.

The Role of Alcohol in Title IX Violations

Title IX of the United States Education Code prohibits any form of discrimination against students because of their sex. Recent additions to the code also require schools to protect their students from forms of sexual harassment or violence.

The consumption of alcohol can increase the frequency and severity of these alleged incidents. A student who consumes even one drink can find themselves in less control over their actions. Similarly, alleged victims who have had too much to drink may find themselves in vulnerable positions and may fall prey to an aggressor.

As a whole, the presence of alcohol increases the chances for a Title IX violation accusation. These can range in severity from harassment, to assaults, to rape. An attorney could help to investigate the role that alcohol played in any alleged Maryland Title IX investigation.

Alcohol and Disciplinary Hearings

It is a well-known fact that alcohol can lead to poor decision making. Even if a student is of legal age to drink and the alleged victim is as well, the presence of alcohol at the scene of an alleged Title IX violation is never a good thing.

The boards of student conduct that are charged with investigating and punishing Title IX violations will not take intoxication as an excuse for poor behavior. Much like criminal courts, these boards will view the choice to drink as a voluntary decision on the part of a defendant.

As a result, boards of inquiry may even be more likely to hand down stiff punishment for Title IX violations if alcohol was involved.

The resulting academic punishments could seriously jeopardize a student’s education. In addition, many of the instances of sexual harassment or violence are violations of Maryland’s criminal code. Intoxication is no defense to any criminal accusation and could serve to make a defendant less sympathetic in the eyes of a jury or a sentencing judge.

Alcohol and Maryland Title IX Investigations are a Poor Mix

Title IX requires all students to refrain from any harassment or violence against their fellow students because of their sex. The consumption of alcohol could lead you to make poor decisions that may lead to complaints.

Even if you are in a situation where other people are drinking but you are not, a simple misunderstanding influenced by alcohol could be cause for concern.

Schools’ disciplinary boards will not look kindly on a person who allowed alcohol to take control over their judgment. Similarly, criminal courts could use the intoxicated state of an alleged victim as evidence of a defendant’s intent to commit a sex crime. While it is unrealistic to ask students to refrain from any use of alcohol, it is recommended that you think before you drink.

An attorney could help to provide more information about the connections between alcohol and Maryland Title IX investigations. Contact a lawyer today to protect your academic future and your freedom.