ColumnsBlackout Versus Pass Out in Allegations of Alcohol-involved Sexual Assault: Why Knowing the Difference MattersSCHNEIDER, NICOLE PhD, ABPPAuthor Information Dr SCHNEIDER: is a board-certified forensic psychologist in private practice in Denver, CO. She is the chair of the forensic committee for the Colorado Psychological Association, clinic supervisor at the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology, and an expert witness in military courts-martial all over the world The author declares no conflicts of interest. Please send correspondence to: Nicole Schneider, PhD, ABPP, P.O. Box 460667, Denver, CO 80246 (e-mail: [email protected]). Journal of Psychiatric Practice: March 2020 - Volume 26 - Issue 2 - p 141-145 doi: 10.1097/PRA.0000000000000452 Buy Metrics Abstract It is common for not only laypersons but also courts, witnesses, attorneys, and even some experts involved in a criminal sexual assault investigation to confuse the terms “blackout” and “pass out” when referring to the memory, consciousness, and other behavioral ramifications of alcohol intoxication. A typical alcohol-involved sexual assault allegation often includes the partial or total absence of memory for events of the alleged incident. The etiology and behavioral presentations of the types of alcohol-induced memory deficiency evidenced are not all created equal and understanding the differences is crucial to understanding the reasonableness of the potential perceptions or misperceptions of an accused. By improving our understanding of these terms, we can assist the legal process with proper and more accurate history gathering and documentation if we become a party to such an investigation. Copyright © 2020 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.