on Alcohol and Other Drugs
Revised September 2012
The abuse of alcohol and the use of illegal drugs by members of The
University of Georgia community are incompatible with the goals of the
institution. In order to further the University’s commitment to provide
a healthy and productive educational environment, and in compliance
with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of
1989, the University has established the following policy on alcohol and
The University of Georgia’s student conduct regulations prohibit the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and other drugs by students and student organizations. The regulations also prohibit other alcohol-related misconduct. All traditional freshmen, sophomores, and other students under the age of 21 are prohibited from possession and consumption of alcohol. All students are prohibited from the use and possession of illegal drugs. In addition, student organizations sponsoring events where alcohol is present are subject to the requirements and guidelines of the University’s Social Events policy and registration form. Sanctions for violations of these student conduct regulations may include alcohol and/or other drug education, mandated evaluation and treatment, community service, suspension, and/or expulsion. Student organizations which knowingly permit illegal drug activity will be excluded from campus for a minimum of one year, and leases or agreements for use of University property will automatically terminate pursuant to Board of Regents Policy and Georgia law.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) has given colleges/universities the option to notify parents/guardians about specific types of information from a student's conduct record.
The Office of Student Conduct will notify parents/guardians the first time and any subsequent time a student is found to have violated Code of Conduct policies on the use or possession of alcohol or other drugs when he/she is under the age of 21.
Definitions Relating to Alcohol and Other Drug Violations
Possession of alcohol or drugs refers, but is not limited, to holding, no matter the duration, alcohol or illegal drugs/controlled substances in hand or, having them in one’s clothing, purse/book bag (or similar case), automobile, or residence.
Consumption of alcohol refers to the act of drinking or ingesting any amount of an alcoholic beverage.
Use of drugs refers to the act of ingesting, inhaling, drinking, eating, and/or any other method of introducing an illegal drug or controlled substance into one’s body.
Distribution of drugs refers to the sharing of illegal drugs/controlled substances with or giving them to others
Sale of drugs refers to the exchange of illegal drugs/controlled substances for money or other forms of compensation (sale).
Facilitating the possession/use of alcohol or drugs refers to the act of allowing others to possess, consume, or use alcohol or illegal drugs/controlled substances in one’s residence or automobile.
A Level I violation is defined as possession, use, or facilitating the possession/use of alcohol.
A Level II violation includes, but is not limited to, any violation involving the operation of a motor vehicle after consumption of alcohol and/or use of drugs, acts of violence while using alcohol or drugs, destruction of property, disorderly conduct, or intoxication level that requires medical treatment or results in medical personnel being called, even if treatment is refused, and any drug related violation.
1st Violation Sanctions for Individual Students
These minimum sanctions will be imposed for all 1st violations listed below.
1st violation for possession (not consumption) of alcohol, or facilitating the possession (not consumption) of alcohol by others: Alcohol education program and probation for six (6) months from the date of resolution.
1st violation for consumption, use, or distribution of alcohol, or facilitating the use of alcohol by others: Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) education program and probation for twelve (12) months from the date of resolution.
1st violation for illegal use, possession or distribution of illegal drugs/controlled substances: Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) education program and probation for twelve (12) months from the date of resolution.
1st violation for sale of illegal drugs or controlled substances: Suspension from the institution.
Subsequent Violation Sanctions for Individual Students
Sanctions will likely include at least ONE of the following:
Subsequent violations while on probation: Advanced Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) education program, additional probation, community service hours, suspension from the institution.
*Additional sanctions may be determined by the level of the violation (I or II), circumstances of the case and the student’s prior record, including the conditions of probation from any prior record.
Subsequent Violation Sanctions Involving the Operation of a Motor Vehicle
Any subsequent violation, while on probation for a prior alcohol/drug violation, involving the operation of a motor vehicle after consumption of alcohol and/or use of drugs: Suspension from the institution.
Any 2nd violation, regardless of probation status, involving the operation of a motor vehicle after consumption of alcohol and/or use of drugs when a prior violation also involved the operation of a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol and/or using drugs: Suspension from the institution.
Violations after Suspension
Sanctions will likely include at least ONE of the following:
Any alcohol or drug related violation after suspension: Suspension from the institution, probation, appropriate AOD program, expulsion from the institution.
Additional sanctions may be determined by the level of the violation (I or II), circumstances of the case, and the student’s prior record, including the conditions of probation from any prior record.
Two or more violations (separate incidents) while not on probation
In cases where students are referred to the Office of Student Conduct for an additional alcohol/drug related violation that occurs before the resolution of any prior alcohol/drug related violation or pending case – sanctions will be determined by the conduct officer or hearing panel but should be no less than those outlined under the heading subsequent violation sanction based on the type of violation.
The findings of fact, any particular circumstances, and prior record of the student will be factors considered when determining other appropriate sanctions that may be imposed.
Students who are suspended from the University for any length of time should be aware that this action may have an impact on the following:
- Tuition, Residence Hall costs and fees (suspension does not forgive financial obligations)
- Student Financial Aid including HOPE Scholarship
- Athletic participation and eligibility
- Health insurance (contact your personal health care provider)
- University Housing
- Meal Plan
- Use of University resources and access to University facilities
- Immigration status for international students
- Veterans and dependents of veterans
- Internships, assistantships, and study abroad
- Class Withdrawal
This is not an exhaustive list.
Employee misconduct related to alcohol or other drug abuse will not be tolerated. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, sale, use, or possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, or a dangerous drug by employees of the University of Georgia is prohibited by federal and state law, as well as, Board of Regents policy. Violation of this policy will result in appropriate disciplinary sanctions, including but not limited to dismissal, demotion or suspension of employment and/or referral to the appropriate state agency for legal prosecution.
Any employee who is convicted for the first time, under the laws of any state or the United States, of any criminal offense involving the manufacture, distribution, sale, or possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, or a dangerous drug shall notify the Office of Legal Affairs (706-542-0006) of such conviction no later than 24 hours after the conviction. Any such employee shall be subject to, at a minimum, suspension from his or her employment for a period of not less than two months, or other disciplinary sanctions up to and including dismissal of employment. The employee may appeal the suspension or dismissal under procedures set forth in the University of Georgia Grievance and Disciplinary Review Policy. In the case of a suspension, such employee shall be required as a condition of completion of suspension to complete a drug treatment and education program approved by the President. Upon a second conviction, such employee must be terminated and made ineligible for any state employment for a period of five (5) years.
If, prior to an arrest for an offense involving a controlled substance, marijuana, or a dangerous drug, an employee notifies his or her immediate supervisor that he or she illegally uses a controlled substance, marijuana, or a dangerous drug and is receiving or agrees to receive treatment under a drug abuse treatment and education program approved by the President, the employee shall be entitled to maintain employment for up to one (1) year as long as the employee follows the treatment plan. During this period, the employee shall not be separated from his or her employment solely on the basis of the employee’s drug dependence, but the employee’s work activities may be restructured if practicable to protect persons or property. In addition, this policy does not prohibit the institution from taking appropriate disciplinary action for violations of the conduct policy. An employee retained in accordance with the provisions of this policy will be subject to return-to-work and random selection for controlled substance testing for no less than one year. In addition, the employee may be tested “for cause” if the testing falls within the treatment center’s contract time period and the testing is arranged by the treatment center. No statement made by an employee to a supervisor or other person in order to comply with this policy shall be admissible in any civil, administrative, or criminal proceeding as evidence against the employee. The rights granted by this policy shall be available to an employee only once during a five (5) year period and shall not apply to any employee who has refused to be tested or who has tested positive for a controlled substance, marijuana, or a dangerous drug.
In addition to the criminal sanctions described below, employees convicted of drug-related offenses are subject to civil penalties. Such penalties may include suspension or revocation of professional and occupational licenses, restriction from public employment for up to five years, denial of retirement benefits, and denial of state-sponsored loans and mortgages. Workers’ compensation benefits will also be denied in certain instances where alcohol or other drugs are a cause of injury.
Any employee who serves or provides alcoholic
beverages in his or her official capacity is subject to the Guidelines
Concerning University Events Where Alcoholic Beverages are Served
or Provided, which include prohibiting the furnishing of alcohol to persons
under age. These guidelines should be reviewed by all employees hosting and/or working at any event where alcohol will be served.
Under Georgia and federal law, it is a crime to possess, manufacture, sell, or distribute illegal drugs. As required by federal regulations, you may view information detailing federal
penalties for drug trafficking and the Georgia state law regarding sale, distribution, and possession of dangerous drugs.
Federal sanctions for the illegal possession of drugs include imprisonment
up to 1 year and/or a minimum fine of $1,000 for a first
conviction; imprisonment for 15 days-2 years and a minimum fine of
$2,500 for a second drug conviction; and imprisonment for 90 days-3
years and a minimum fine of $5,000 for a third or subsequent drug
conviction. For possession of a mixture or substance which contains a
cocaine base, federal sanctions include 5-20 years in prison and a minimum
fine of $1,000, for a first conviction if the mixture or substance
exceeds 5 grams, for a second conviction if the mixture or substance
exceeds 3 grams, and for a third or subsequent conviction if the mixture
or substance exceeds 1 gram. Additional possible penalties for the illegal
possession of drugs are forfeiture of real or personal property used
to possess or to facilitate possession of a controlled substance if the
offense is punishable by more than 1 year imprisonment; forfeiture of
vehicles, boats, aircraft, or any other conveyance used, or intended for
use, to transport or conceal drugs; civil fine up to $10,000 per violation;
denial of federal benefits, such as student loans, grants, contracts, and
professional and commercial licenses for up to 1 year for a first and up
to 5 years for a second or subsequent offense; successful completion
of a drug treatment program; community service; and ineligibility to
receive or purchase a firearm.
Georgia law prohibits the purchase or possession of alcohol by a person
under the age of 21, or the furnishing of alcohol to such a person.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs also is illegal. It is
against Georgia law, under certain circumstances, to walk or be upon
a roadway while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. The punishment for these offenses may include imprisonment, payment of a
fine, mandatory treatment and education programs, community service,
and mandatory loss of one’s driver’s license.
Counseling and Treatment Resources
A variety of counseling services and treatment centers is available
throughout the state for anyone experiencing problems related to substance
abuse. Although most counseling and treatment centers charge
for their services, some programs are free of charge. Faculty, staff, and
students should avail themselves of the following referral sources to identify the services or programs which most closely meet their specific
Substance abuse professionals in Health Promotion and Counseling
and Psychiatric Services provide individual and group counseling
for students with alcohol and drug abuse and misuse issues. For
students, The John Fontaine Jr. Center for Alcohol Awareness and
Education, located at the University Health Center, provides comprehensive
and collaborative services including education, counseling
and intervention. Education is provided through a mandantory online
alcohol education course for all incoming first-year and transfer
students under the age of 23, through classroom presentations,
through selective prevention efforts to high-risk groups, and through
an up-to-date Web site that includes two online self assessments.
Students who are required to take an alcohol education class due
to legal reasons or violation of University policy attend either a 10
hour alcohol education class or four or more sessions of brief counseling,
depending on level of risk for developing further alcohol or
drug related problems.
The Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug (ATOD) education program
offers a variety of programs and presentations designed to meet
specific needs. A resource library of information concerning alcohol
and other drugs is located on the first floor in the Health Promotion
Department of the University Health Center (UHC), and has films,
videos, books, tapes, and pamphlets available for students’ use.
Campus student groups which stress alcohol and other drug education
and awareness include the Fontaine Center Student Advisory
Board (FCSAB) and ASAP (Advocating Safe Alternatives for Peers)
Peer Education Team. Support groups include AOD Therapy groups
and AA in the Athens community and through the Health Center
based on student interest.
Faculty and staff may obtain a list of available alcohol and other drug
counseling services and treatment centers from the Human Resources
Faculty and Staff Relations Department.
The following information on health risks is from What Works: Schools
Without Drugs, U. S. Department of Education (1992):
Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior.
Even low doses significantly impair the judgment and coordination
required to drive a car safely, increasing the likelihood that the driver
will be involved in an accident. Low to moderate doses of alcohol also
increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including spouse
and child abuse. Moderate to high doses of alcohol cause marked impairments
in higher mental functions, severely altering a person’s ability
to learn and remember information. Very high doses cause respiratory
depression and death. If combined with other depressants of the central
nervous system, much lower doses of alcohol will produce the effects
Repeated use of alcohol can lead to dependence. Sudden cessation
of alcohol intake is likely to produce withdrawal symptoms, including
severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and convulsions. Alcohol
withdrawal can be life-threatening. Long-term consumption of large
quantities of alcohol, particularly when combined with poor nutrition,
can also lead to permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain
and the liver.
Mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to
infants with fetal alcohol syndrome. These infants have irreversible
physical abnormalities and mental retardation. In addition, research
indicates that children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk than other
youngsters of becoming alcoholics.
For additional information regarding:
- Health risks or counseling and treatment resources for students, contact the John Fontaine Jr. Center of Alcohol Awareness and Education, 706-542-8690
- The University’s policies on alcohol and other drugs as they pertain
to students, contact the Director for Student Conduct,
- Counseling and treatment resources for employees and the University’s
policies on alcohol and other drugs as they pertain to employees,
contact Faculty & Staff Relations, (706) 542-9756
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