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Letter to the editor

Assault aided by alcohol

April 7, 2006

Everybody knows that drinking alcohol impairs you. Our state recognizes this fact by including alcohol in the definition of “intoxicants” in state laws dealing with snowmobiling, all-terrain vehicles, boating and transportation. However, there is a glaring exception when it comes to alcohol and sexual assault laws.

Alcohol is specifically exempted in sexual assault statutes by one 7-word sentence: “‘Intoxicant’ does not include any alcoholic beverage.”

Students here at UW-RF and other UW campuses across the state are working with United Council to amend this law. Wisconsin is the only state that has this ridiculous exemption, and it is time our legislators close this loophole for sexual perpetrators that use alcohol to facilitate rapes and sexual assaults.

Nationally, alcohol is the most widely used “date rape” drug. Harvard University’s School of Public Health recently reported that about one in every 20 female college students is raped each year, and 72 percent of these women are raped while they are too intoxicated to give consent. It is time our sexual assault laws match common sense knowledge that alcohol is an intoxicant.

Audrey Liquard
Student