Alcohol and Other Drugs Policies

ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUGS ON CAMPUS

Gallaudet University is committed to providing a campus environment that is free from illegal or abusive use of alcohol and other drugs. In doing so, Gallaudet University will implement disciplinary procedures against those who violate University policy related to the illegal or abusive use of alcohol and other drugs and those who interfere with the rights of other students to live and learn in a drug-free environment. In compliance with the Federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, this handbook contains Gallaudet's policies on alcohol and other drugs, applicable laws as well as disciplinary sanctions/legal penalties related to the use, possession and distribution of alcohol and other drugs; information about the risks and effects of drug and alcohol use and dependence; and resources to assist students who may be having a problem with alcohol or other drugs. You are encouraged to read this information in its entirety, as each member of the campus community is responsible for complying with Gallaudet's policy and applicable laws.  Ignorance of such rules will not reduce accountability.  More importantly, you owe it to yourself.

UNIVERSITY POLICIES

The Student Code of Conduct in the Student Handbook clearly prohibits the following on or off University premises and at University sponsored activities:

Use, Possession, Manufacturing, Sale, or Distribution of Illegal Drugs and/or Drug Paraphernalia - This includes the use, possession, distribution, manufacture, or processing of illegal or non-prescribed narcotics and/or hallucinogens except as expressly permitted by law. The intention to sell or distribute a controlled substance is a violation of this policy. Possession of drug paraphernalia (e.g., hookahs, bongs, pipes, or homemade equipment) regardless of intended use, drug remnants (e.g., marijuana seeds, stems, or resin), or even the confirmed aroma of marijuana will be considered a violation of the drug policy. The aroma of marijuana is considered confirmation of use. Marijuana - medicinal or otherwise - is illegal on campuses that receive Federal funding (which requires it to be in compliance with the Federal Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Act).  The University prohibits the possession or use of medical marijuana on campus premises even though medical marijuana is legal in the District of Columbia. The possession, use, and/or aroma of synthetic marijuana is also prohibited. Use or possession of drug paraphernalia is also prohibited. The presence of scales, "ziplock bags", excessive amounts of cash, large quantities or marijuana and/or other drugs, or other objects used in drug transactions may be considered evidence of distribution or intent to distribute or sell illegal drugs.

Use, Possession, Manufacturing, or Distribution of Alcoholic Beverages - This includes public intoxication and use, possession, or consumption of intoxicants or the manufacture and/or distribution of alcoholic beverages contrary to circumstances and conditions specified by University Alcohol and Other Drugs Policies, residence hall policy, or as expressly permitted by law. Possession or use of kegs, beer balls, large punch bowls, or other common containers of alcoholic beverages of a similar nature is prohibited.

Illegal Use, Possession, Manufacturing, or Distribution of Prescription Medications and Household Products or Abuse of Non-Prescription Drugs - This includes the use of prescription or household products in a manner that deviates from the label instructions and/or prescription or abuse of non-prescription drugs. Sharing, selling, overusing, stealing a prescription, or having possession of another's prescription medicine is prohibited, and using any household products or other chemicals to alter one's senses is also prohibited.

ALCOHOL POLICY

Within the regulations of the law and University policy, the choice of whether or not to drink or how much to drink is a decision of the student. Responsible use of alcohol is controlled behavior that displays the self-respect of the drinker and respect toward those around him/her.

A person under 21 years of age in the United States may not purchase or attempt to purchase alcoholic beverages. It is illegal for minors to possess and/or drink alcoholic beverages in D.C. and anywhere on or off the Gallaudet University campus. A person may not sell, deliver, furnish, or otherwise provide alcoholic beverages to any person under 21 years of age. Drinking games and hazardous or disruptive conduct related to the use of alcoholic beverages is prohibited. Students and their guests of legal age may possess and consume alcoholic beverages in the privacy of their residence hall room (with the exception of selected residence halls that have been designated as "dry residence halls") or during on-campus student organization events that are supervised by Campus Activities. Under no circumstances are alcoholic beverages to be brought to or consumed in any other spaces on campus not defined above. Irresponsible alcohol use resulting in drunken and/or disorderly conduct is not acceptable and is subject to disciplinary action. Selling or serving alcohol on the Gallaudet University campus without permission is prohibited. "Hard liquor" is not permitted at student-organized events. Kegs and/or "party balls" are not permitted in the residence halls or in student organization spaces, even if it is empty and used for decorative purposes. It is illegal to sell alcohol on- or off-campus without a license from the D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) Board. For a complete copy of the policies and procedures that must be followed by student organizations when serving/selling alcohol on campus or at Gallaudet sponsored activities, contact the Campus Activities Office.

D.C. CODES REGARDING ALCOHOL AND ILLEGAL DRUGS

Gallaudet University follows all D.C. Codes concerning alcohol sale and usage. Highlights of the D.C. Code include the following:

Penalties for Illegal Possession or Distribution of Alcohol under D.C. Law in the District of Columbia:

  • It is unlawful to consume or possess an alcoholic beverage in an open container in a public area or place of business not licensed to sell alcoholic beverages. Violations of this provision may result in a fine of up to $500 and/or a prison term of up to 90 days (D.C. Code § 25-1001). 
  • Persons under age 21 are prohibited from possessing, drinking, purchasing, or attempting to purchase an alcoholic beverage. Persons are also prohibited from falsely representing their age in an attempt to purchase alcohol or enter an establishment where alcohol is served. Violations of this law may result in a fine of up to $1,000 and suspension of driving privileges for up to one year (D.C. Code § 25-1002)
  • Persons who purchase, sell or in any other way deliver alcoholic beverages to persons under 21 may be fined up to $5,000 and/or imprisoned for up to one year (D.C. Code § 25-785).

Penalties for Illegal Possession or Distribution of Illegal Drugs under D.C. Law in the District of Columbia:

  • Intentional possession of a controlled substance (other than pursuant to a valid prescription), is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or 180 days imprisonment. The intentional manufacture, distribution, or possession with intent to manufacture or distribute a controlled substance is punishable by prison terms ranging from not more than 180 days to not more than 30 years and/or fines ranging from not more than $1,000 to not more than $500,000 (D.C. Code § 48-904.01). Controlled substances are defined in D.C. Code § 48-901.02 and include drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, crack, PCP, LSD, and other narcotics.
  • Persons over age 21 who are found to have distributed a controlled substance to anyone under age 18 is subject to even heavier penalties (D.C. Code § 48-904.06).
  • Anyone found to have enlisted or encouraged an individual under age 18 to distribute or sell any controlled substance is subject to an additional fine of $10,000 and an additional prison term of up 10 years.
  • A finding that an individual has attempted to commit any of these offenses subjects the individual to the same fines and terms of imprisonment as if the crime were actually committed. Moreover, the D.C. government shall revoke the driver's license of all persons convicted under this law for a period of at least six months and up to two years.
  • The use, possession, sale, or delivery of drug paraphernalia to prepare or use illegal controlled substances is prohibited and punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 or a prison term of up to two years or both. Drug paraphernalia includes pipes, tubes, roach clips, cocaine spoons and vials, bongs, ice pipes or chillers, scales, blenders, bowls, containers, spoons and other devices used for mixing or compounding a controlled substance, and capsules, balloons, envelopes and any other containers used to package, use or store a controlled substance (D.C. Code §§ 48-1101, 48-1103).

Penalties for Illegal Possession or Distribution of Illegal Drugs under Federal Law (U.S. Code):

It is a violation of federal law to possess, manufacture, or distribute a controlled substance. Defined by federal statute, controlled substances include marijuana, cocaine, PCP, LSD, and other narcotics. A student or employee found guilty of possessing or distributing a controlled substance in violation of federal law may be subject to some or all of the following sanctions:

  • First conviction: Up to one year imprisonment and a fine of at least $1,000 but not more than $100,000, or both.
  • With one prior drug conviction: At least 15 days in prison, not to exceed two years and fined at least $2,500 but not more than $250,000, or both.
  • After two or more prior drug convictions: At least 90 days in prison, not to exceed three years, and/or a fine of at least $5,000 but not more than $250,000 (21 U.S.C. § 844(a))

There are special sentencing requirements for crimes that involve the possession of crack cocaine. Convicted persons will receive a mandatory sentence of at least five years in prison, not to exceed twenty years, and/or will be fined up to $250,000 if:

  • it is the defendant's first conviction and the amount of crack possessed exceeds 5 grams; or,
  • it is the defendant's second conviction and the amount of crack possessed exceeds 3 grams;
  • it is the defendant's third or subsequent crack conviction and the amount of crack possessed exceeds 1 gram (21 U.S.C. §§ 853(a)(2), 881(a)(7)).

Federal law may also require forfeiture of property used to possess or to facilitate possession of a controlled substance if that offense is punishable by more than 1 year imprisonment (21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(4)); forfeiture of vehicles, boats, aircraft or any other conveyance used to transport or conceal a controlled substance (21 U.S.C. § 844a); and civil fines of up to $10,000 (21 U.S.C. § 853a).

Upon a drug conviction, the federal government may also deny or revoke federal benefits, such as student loans, grants, contracts, and professional and commercial licenses, for up to one year for first offense, and up to five years for second and subsequent offenses, (18 U.S.C. § 922(g)).

A student who has been convicted of any offense under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance will not be eligible to receive any federal grants, loans, or work assistance for at least one year (for first conviction of possession) and possibly indefinitely (for third/subsequent conviction of possession or second/subsequent conviction of sale) (20 U.S.C. §1091(r)).

For a complete reading of the relevant codes pertaining to alcohol and other drugs, please refer to both the District of Columbia and/or the United States Code.

OFFICE OF RESIDENCE LIFE AND HOUSING POLICIES RELATED TO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES AND OTHER DRUGS

Residence Life and Housing policies govern the use, possession, or distribution of alcoholic beverages and other drugs in the residence halls. The policies are as follows:

Dry Residence Halls - Gallaudet University has "dry residence halls" where no alcoholic beverages are permitted, regardless of the age of the residents in those residence halls. The residence halls designated for freshmen students are the designated "dry residence halls" on campus.

Empty Alcohol Bottles or Cans - Residents in dry residence halls or rooms occupied entirely by underage residents cannot possess any empty alcoholic bottles and/or cans in their rooms, even if they are used for decorative purposes. Discovery of such alcoholic bottles and/or cans, in violation of this policy, will result in their confiscation and issuance of points and/or penalty assessment.

Alcoholic Beverages - Students are expected to follow the D.C. Codes and University policies that relate to alcoholic beverages. Students and their guests of legal age may possess and consume alcoholic beverages in the privacy of their residence hall room. Students in the residence halls shall not sell, offer for sale, or offer as credit purchase any alcoholic beverages. An admission charge to pay for alcohol or related party expenses where alcohol is present or served is prohibited. Residents serving alcohol to underage individuals are subject to disciplinary action. No opened bottles, cans, or open containers containing of alcoholic beverages are allowed in public areas (hallways, elevators, stairwells, public restrooms, lounges, and lobby areas of the residence halls). Kegs of beer (any containers requiring taps to operate) and/or "party balls" are not permitted in any residence halls, even if it is empty and used for decorative purposes.  The number of students attending a private party is limited to four (4) times the occupancy rate of a student room. Concealment activities, including the use of mouthwash prior to a voluntary breathalyzer test or an alcohol strip test may be considered confirmation of consumption of alcohol. Gallaudet University has every legal right to take whatever disciplinary actions are necessary. Fleeing from the scene of an alleged violation or refusing to provide valid identification when a University official is present may be considered relevant information used to verify the student's alcohol consumption and/or knowing presence during the alleged underage consumption of alcohol or other alleged alcohol policy violations. Positive visual identification will be considered in such instances.

A student who has knowledge of another person or persons committing or attempting to commit a violation of the Code of Conduct is required to remove him or herself from the situation (and is obligated to report any suspected crime or serious violations), and failure to do so when reasonable under the circumstances may be the basis for a violation of the Code of Conduct as well.

Drugs - The possession, use, manufacture, and/or selling of an illicit drug is against Federal regulations and will not be tolerated on University premises. The possession, use, manufacture, and/or selling of prescription medication or household product or abusing non-prescription medication is also prohibited. Possession of drug paraphernalia (e.g., hookahs, bongs, pipes, scales, or homemade equipment) regardless of intended use, drug remnants (e.g., marijuana seeds, stems, or resin), or even the confirmed aroma of marijuana will be considered a violation of the drug policy. The aroma of marijuana is considered confirmation of use, and all parties in the presence of marijuana use (including but not limited to: the confirmed aroma of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, or residue (seeds, stems or resin) will be held responsible.  Concealment activities (such as but not limited to, placing a plastic bag over a room smoke detector or otherwise interfering with the operation of the smoke detector; fan in the window blowing air out of the room; open window when the outside temperatures are not suitable for it, placing towels or similar barriers under the room door; the smell of air fresheners/perfume, incense, candles, etc.) may be considered as confirmation of illegal use of marijuana. The possession, use, and/or aroma of synthetic marijuana (commonly known as K2 or Spice) or any synthetic or designer drugs ("bath salts", plant food, etc.) is also prohibited.   Gallaudet University has every legal right to take whatever disciplinary actions are necessary. Fleeing from the scene of an alleged violation or refusing to provide valid identification when a University official is present may be considered relevant information used to verify the student's use and/or knowing presence during the alleged use of illegal drugs. Positive visual identification will be considered in such instances.

A student who has knowledge of another person or persons committing or attempting to commit a violation of the Code of Conduct is required to remove him or herself from the situation (and is obligated to report any suspected crime or serious violations), and failure to do so when reasonable under the circumstances may be the basis for a violation of the Code of Conduct as well.

MANDATORY ALCOHOL AND/OR OTHER DRUG EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM

As an educational component of the University's discipline process, students involved in alcohol and/or other drug violations are required to participate in the University's alcohol and/or other drugs educational program.

Satisfactory completion of on-line educational courses, alcohol and other drugs educational workshops, and/or counseling assessments assigned is mandatory for students required to participate in the program as a result of University disciplinary action, in addition to any fine and/or other sanctions that may have been imposed. Failure to comply with a mandatory requirement by the stated deadline will result in additional disciplinary action imposed by the University, which may include the loss of off-campus housing privileges, residence hall privileges, or University suspension.

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