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Alcohol and Drug Policy

Alcohol and Other Drugs

The unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students on College property or as any part of a College-sponsored activity is strictly prohibited.

Local, state, and federal laws prohibit the unlawful use, manufacture, possession, control, sale and dispensation of any illegal narcotic or other drugs. These laws carry penalties for violations, including monetary fines and imprisonment.

The risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol are numerous and include physical and mental impairment, emotional and psychological deterioration, and devastating effects on family and friends. There are obvious risks, such as suffering a hangover, being charged with driving under the influence or while intoxicated, and sustaining or causing personal injury. There are a number of less obvious risks associated with alcohol and other drug abuse that students might not realize, including:

  • Poor academic performance
  • Poor job performance
  • Unwanted sexual activity
  • Sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS
  • Jeopardizing future career prospects (e.g., admission to law school, government employment).

In addition, alcohol and other drug abuse puts the user at considerable health risk, which can include nausea, vomiting, cancer, liver damage, elevated blood pressure, psychotic episodes, hallucinations and, in some cases, death. In addition to the risk to the abuser of illicit drugs and alcohol are the risks to other students and the public.

The Counseling and Human Development Office, the Health Promotions staff and Alcohol and Other Drug Coordinators, and Dartmouth College Health Service staff can provide consultation and referral to students with problems or concerns related to alcohol and drug use. All have procedures to assure confidentiality.

Individuals whose performance is impaired as a result of use or abuse of drugs or alcohol (either on or off campus); who illegally use or abuse drugs or alcohol on campus; who violate any provision of the Standards of Conduct or the Student Alcohol Policy or Drug Policy are subject to severe sanctions. These can include required completion of an appropriate rehabilitation program, suspension, separation, and referral to law enforcement authorities.

Student Alcohol Policy

Preamble. The primary concern of the alcohol policy is the health and safety of members of the College community. As part of Dartmouth’s overall alcohol education efforts, the alcohol policy aims to deepen student awareness of the problems that the abuse of alcohol can create, and to involve the College and members of the College community in helping to alleviate these problems whenever possible. The College’s primary goals in this area remain educational ones: to develop alcohol guidelines that are clear, readily understood, consistent, and equally applicable to all students; to create a non-coercive social environment for those who choose not to drink; to promote moderation, safety, and individual accountability for those who choose to drink; and to maintain a community where the effects of alcohol abuse and the problems of behavior associated with it are openly discussed. Therefore, all members of the community need to be mindful of their responsibility to lend assistance to others in need of help because of a problem relating to alcohol. Also, the Board of Trustees has affirmed its commitment to eliminate the abuse and unsafe use of alcohol at Dartmouth and continues to endorse the focus on alcohol education and counseling in order to provide a safe environment for those who choose to drink alcohol.

The specific policies that follow apply to all Dartmouth students on or off campus. These policies also apply in connection with student programs, events, and activities of the College and its recognized student organizations. College-recognized organizations include, but are not limited to, the following: Greek Letter Organizations and Societies (GLOS), senior societies, undergraduate societies, COSO recognized groups, athletic teams, residence hall councils, class councils, etc. For the purposes of this policy, College-recognized organizations also include any group that has matriculated Dartmouth College students as a majority of its members and has official College status.

If an individual College department or office, in order to ensure consistency with its mission and objectives, develops more restrictive policies regarding the possession, use or distribution of alcohol, then the department or office will notify those affected and the more restrictive policy will apply.

I.   Possession or consumption  of alcoholic beverages by individuals under the applicable legal drinking age is a violation of College policy.  Purchasing alcohol or attempting to purchase alcohol for an individual under the legal drinking age, or distributing alcohol to an individual under the legal drinking age either by someone over the legal drinking age or by someone under the legal drinking age through the use of false identification is prohibited.

II. Public intoxication is prohibited. Intoxication is identified by generally reliable signs. These signs may include, but are not limited to, the strong odor of alcohol on an individual’s breath, slurred speech, impaired coordination, glassy eyes, or exaggerated emotions and behaviors. Students may be considered to have violated the College policy prohibiting public intoxication if their level of impairment attracts the attention of College, town, or other officials and warrants medical care or custody by police. With respect to this policy, “public” is understood to be any place to which members of the community have general access, including hallways, common spaces, and rest rooms of administrative and academic buildings, residence halls, and GLOS organizations. It does not include students’ individual rooms. Violations of this regulation will result in a referral to the College Health Service and disciplinary action appropriate to the circumstances.

III. Good Samaritan Policy. Student health and safety are the primary concerns of the Dartmouth community. Students are expected to contact Safety and Security when they believe that assistance for an intoxicated/impaired student is needed. The Department of Safety and Security (DOSS) will assist intoxicated individuals by providing or facilitating transport to medical facilities at the College Health Service, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, or by taking other protective measures. In case of medical emergency, students should call 911 for assistance by local police, fire safety or medical professionals. Students and/or organizations that seek assistance from these sources, the individual assisted, and others involved will not be subject to College disciplinary action with respect to the alcohol policy. (This policy does not preclude disciplinary action regarding other violations of College standards, such as causing or threatening physical harm, sexual abuse, damage to property, harassment, hazing, etc. Students should also be aware that this College policy does not prevent action by local and state authorities.) Safety and Security will record names of intoxicated students to enable any follow-up that may be deemed necessary to ensure students’ well-being. Other information may also be recorded to enable any other necessary follow-up.

In order for this policy to apply, the intoxicated student(s) must agree to timely completion of recommended alcohol education activities, assessment, and/or treatment depending on the level of concern for student health and safety. Serious or repeated incidents will prompt a higher degree of medical concern. Failure to complete recommended follow-up will normally result in disciplinary action and could also prompt the imposition of a medical withdrawal. Likewise, organizations involved in an incident must agree to take recommended steps to address concerns.

The Office of Parking & Transportation Services and other appropriate offices may request and receive information regarding a student’s history under the Good Samaritan Policy for purposes of determining eligibility for College driver certification.

IV. Providing an alcoholic beverage to an obviously intoxicated person is prohibited.

V. Students of legal drinking age may drink in their rooms, may drink in the common spaces of residential facilities (unless alcohol is present and there are 10 or more students, in which case a social event needs to be registered), and may drink in GLOS houses, senior and undergraduate society physical plants, although other social events there with alcohol must be registered. (See Section IX for information about registration of social events with alcohol.) Students of legal age may also drink at registered social events in other designated social spaces. (See Section IX for a list of locations at which social events may be registered.)

The possession of open containers of alcoholic beverages, and/or the consumption of alcoholic beverages, is specifically prohibited: in and around academic, administrative, and athletic buildings; on the Green; on the streets and sidewalks of the campus; in the cemetery or the Bema; at intercollegiate, club or intramural athletic events, wherever they are held, whether on or off the Dartmouth campus; and in the vicinity of the Connecticut River in conjunction with water-related activities. The possession of open containers of alcoholic beverages, and/or the consumption of alcoholic beverages is also prohibited, except during registered social events when specific permission is granted, outside of, or on the grounds of, residence halls, GLOS facilities, undergraduate and senior societies, academic affinities, special interest houses, or other student organizational facilities, and in any other specified areas.

Special exceptions can be made by the GLOS office or the Collis Center for Student Involvement, or by the Deans of the graduate and professional schools for: the Bema; in and around academic, administrative and athletic buildings; on sidewalks and streets of the campus; and in the immediate vicinity of a College-registered event. Requests for exceptions regarding facilities managed by the Dean of the College division should be addressed to the Collis Center for Student Involvement.

VI. The College prohibits the possession of paraphernalia designed or used to deliver a high volume of alcohol or to facilitate rapid alcohol intake.

VII. Common sources of alcohol (kegs, half-kegs, quarter-kegs, beer balls or punches) are not permitted in College residence halls or on the premises of any College-recognized organizations, without approval from the GLOS office or the Collis Center for Student Involvement. Special exceptions to this provision may be granted by the GLOS office or the Collis Center for Student Involvement, or by the Deans of the graduate and professional schools to graduate organizations and activities. Punches are strictly prohibited.

VIII. Commercial delivery of alcohol to individual students or student groups at Dartmouth is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, the commercial delivery of alcohol to College residence halls or to any College recognized organization, except for social events that have been properly registered with specific permission for the delivery of alcohol.

IX. No College funds designated for student programming and activities, nor

COSO, GLOS, undergraduate society, or other funds designated for College-recognized student organizations, may be used for the specific purchase of alcohol. Such funds may be used for training or employment of servers (see section XI) or for the purchase of food and non-alcoholic beverages. No alcoholic beverages may be purchased through the treasury of any College-recognized organization. This policy shall not apply to religious practices of those religious organizations recognized by the Tucker Foundation. Special exceptions to this provision may be granted to undergraduate organizations or activities by the Greek Letter Organizations and Societies (GLOS) office or the Collis Center for Student Involvement, or by the Deans of the graduate and professional schools to graduate organizations or activities.

X. Events at which alcohol may be present must conform to the Social Event Management Procedures (SEMP), which may be obtained online at www.dartmouth.edu/~orl/greek-soc/semp/.

Those procedures state that a social event involving alcohol must be registered unless: (1) the event is confined to the student’s private room on campus and does not affect the immediate environs; or (2) the event occurs in a common area of a residential facility and the attendance is fewer than 10 people; or (3) the event occurs in a GLOS, undergraduate or senior society physical plants or other designated social space (see list below) and does not exceed 50 people.

Currently designated social spaces for holding registered events where alcohol may be served are:

  1. Collis Common Ground and other specified spaces in Collis
  2. Residence hall common spaces
  3. GLOS physical plants
  4. Undergraduate and Senior Society physical plants
  5. Tom Dent Cabin
  6. Hanover Inn
  7. Top of the Hop
  8. Other designated public social spaces

All individuals and organizations must register social events on-line at www.dartmouth.edu/~orl/greek-soc/semp/.

Designated social spaces in residential facilities (including GLOS houses) are limited to lounges, television rooms, and multipurpose rooms. Hallways, stairways, bathrooms, roofs, decks, porches, fire escapes, study rooms, seminar rooms, computer rooms, and all other undesignated areas are specifically excluded as designated social spaces, for fire and safety or community reasons. There are many non-residential designated social spaces on campus, and students can consult the Conference and Special Events Office or Collis Center for Student Involvement for further information about the use of these spaces.

XI. At social events where alcohol is present, all servers must be 21 years old or employed by a licensed caterer.  All servers must be Dartmouth trained or approved professionals. Health Resources facilitates a training program designed to teach problem-solving related to alcohol use and abuse, knowledge of the College alcohol policy and the alcohol laws of the State of New Hampshire, recognition of emergency situations and elementary emergency training, preparation and clean-up procedures related to serving, and additional information presented by the training staff.

Adjudication of Violations of the Student Alcohol Policy
Adjudication of the College alcohol policy is informed by the College’s primary concern for the health and safety of the College community. First-time violations of the alcohol policy will result in a referral to Dartmouth’s educational and medical intervention programs in lieu of a disciplinary sanction. Students must participate in these programs to avoid a disciplinary sanction. In addition, students are encouraged to talk with their undergraduate dean, counselors, and/ or alcohol educators, about the role alcohol is playing in their life at Dartmouth.

Dartmouth imposes disciplinary sanctions for violations of the alcohol policy as a means to educate students and deter behavior that negatively impacts the individual or the community. If a student fails to complete the education/medical program, repeatedly violates the alcohol policy, or violates other college policies, he or she will be subject to disciplinary sanctions that usually include compliance with the education/ medical program. Sanctions increase in severity with repeated offenses and serious misconduct.

NOTE: The Good Samaritan Policy applies to any alcohol policy offense, regardless of the student’s previous disciplinary history. Students who wish to avoid sanctions as a result of the Good Samaritan Policy must participate in the educational/medical program to be eligible for the Good Samaritan exemption. This policy does not preclude disciplinary action regarding other violations of College standards, such as causing or threatening physical harm, sexual misconduct, damage to property, harassment, hazing, etc. Students should also be aware that this College policy does not prevent action by local and state authorities.

Driving Under the Influence
Students who violate the New Hampshire state statutes by driving while impaired will be subject to disciplinary action by the College. The likely sanction for driving under the influence is suspension.

Alcohol Laws of the State of New Hampshire

The following summary of some pertinent state laws regarding alcohol is not exhaustive, and is subject to change. If students have questions concerning the scope and applications of the law, they should consult legal counsel.

All students are reminded that under New Hampshire Law, it is illegal to:

1. Sell or give away any alcoholic beverage to a person under the age of 21 or to any intoxicated person regardless of age. NH RSA 179:5. Violation is a Class A misdemeanor: up to one year in jail and/or $2,000 fine.

2. Sell, transfer, gift or deliver, leave, barter, or exchange with another any liquor or alcoholic beverage without a state issued permit. Charging admission at the door of an event at which alcohol is served may be considered by State officials to be a “sale” requiring a state liquor license. NH RSA 178:1. Violation is a Class B felony; individual incarceration up to 7 years; $4,000 fine; corporate fine not to exceed $100,000.

3. If under 21:

a. To falsely represent your age for the purpose of obtaining liquor or other alcoholic beverage. NH RSA 179:9. Violation is a misdemeanor for first offense, with a minimum fine of $500; second or subsequent offense, minimum fine of $1,000.

b. Possess, use or display in any manner a false identification card, document, license, or any other document which misrepresents a person’s age for the purpose of purchasing liquor, or alcoholic beverages. NH RSA 179:9. Violation is a misdemeanor; first offense, minimum fine of $500, second or subsequent offense, minimum fine of $1,000; withdrawal of drivers license or issued ID card for 90 days.

c. Possess any liquor or alcoholic beverage, or be intoxicated by consumption of an alcoholic beverage. NH RSA 179:10. This is a violation level offense. First offense, minimum fine of $300; second offense, minimum fine of $600. For purposes of this section,.02% or more for persons under the age of 21, is evidence of intoxication.

d. Operate a motor vehicle in which open containers of alcoholic beverages are found. NH RSA 265A:44. This is a violation level offense which shall be subject to a $150 fine and can result in suspension of driver’s license for 60 days for a first offense and up to one year for subsequent offenses.

e. Have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or more if 21 or over and .02% or more if under 21 and:

i. Operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any controlled drug or any combination of alcohol and controlled drug. NH RSA 265-A:2. Violation is a Class B Misdemeanor with a minimum fine of $500; completion of an impaired driver intervention program; revocation of privilege to drive for minimum of 90 days, up to two years, and possible required drug or alcohol treatment. NH RSA 265-A:18.

ii. Operate a motor vehicle, while under the influence and drive over 30 mph or cause a vehicle collision resulting in serious injury to person of another, or attempt to elude police. NH RSA 265-A:3. Violation is a Class A misdemeanor; minimum fine of $750; mandatory sentence of not less than 10 days, completion of an impaired driver intervention program, minimum license revocation of 18 months, up to 2 years, possible required drug or alcohol treatment.

iii. Penalties for intoxication or under the influence offenses vary and are more stringent for subsequent convictions.

4. Commit an overt act which allows drug use or underage drinking in a room to which a student is assigned or in a house or apartment which a student owns or occupies if five or more under age 21 people are present. (It is an affirmative defense to prosecution to take action to terminate the party once it is underway, to engage in conduct to prevent the party or to give timely notice of the party to law enforcement.) NH RSA 644:18. Violation is a misdemeanor; up to one year in jail and/or $2,000 fine.

Other Drugs

Student Drug Policy

Preamble: Federal and state laws control the possession, use, and sale of drugs and include severe penalties for violations. Dartmouth College prohibits the illegal possession or transfer of any illicit drug so defined under state or federal law, and views the use, possession, or sale of any illicit drug as contradictory to the welfare of both the individual and the College community. The harmful effects of drug abuse on physical and mental health are well established, as are the costs of such actions both academically and legally.

It is critical that all members of the community understand and anticipate the College’s response to individual cases of illegal use, possession, transfer, distribution, and trafficking in illicit drugs or the attempt, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit any such offenses. Action taken by the College in all cases of drug violations will be guided by a concern both for the welfare of the person involved and for the maintenance of a suitable educational environment for all members of the College community. The College is not a law enforcement agency and does not assess the penalties specified in state and federal laws. Adjudication of violations of the Student Drug Policy, however, may reflect current medical and legal standards related to different classes of illicit drugs. Additionally, the College will cooperate with local, state, and federal authorities. Security officers will confiscate observed drug paraphernalia or apparently illegal drugs. Confiscated drugs are turned over to law enforcement authorities, who may initiate an investigation. Drug offenses that involve immediate and substantial danger to the community will be reported to the appropriate authorities at once and may result in immediate temporary suspension.

A violation of federal, state, or local laws concerning drugs is a violation of College regulations and is subject to College disciplinary action up to and including separation.

To remain eligible for federal funding of various programs and grants, including student financial aid, Dartmouth complies with all federal laws and regulations.  Federal laws (including the Controlled Substances Act, The Drug Free Communities and Schools Act, and the Drug Free Workplace Act) make it illegal to possess, cultivate or sell marijuana.  Thus, Dartmouth prohibits the cultivation, possession, use, or distribution of marijuana, even for state certified medical purposes, at college sponsored events or activities (on or off-campus), on Dartmouth property, and in College affiliated housing. 

Students certified to use medical marijuana, with questions about housing, should contact Student Accessibility Services.

Students are accountable for their own decisions regarding the use of illicit drugs; they are also responsible for knowing and complying with applicable College regulations and state and federal laws related to illicit drugs.

College Policy for Students

These regulations apply to all Dartmouth students. They also apply in connection with student programs, events, and activities officially recognized by, and under the jurisdiction of, the College and its recognized student organizations, both on- and off-campus. Violation of these regulations may subject an individual or organization to disciplinary action.

I. No student shall possess, use, transfer, distribute, manufacture or attempt to manufacture, or traffic in illicit drugs in violation of state or federal law or attempt, solicit or conspire to commit any such offenses. Synthetic or counterfeit substances that are an analogue for a controlled substance are prohibited under this policy.  The misuse, transfer, or sale of legal substances such as prescription drugs and inhalants is also prohibited. In addition, the College prohibits the possession or use of drug paraphernalia. Violation of this policy may subject an individual or recognized organization to disciplinary action.

II. The College relies on its counseling and medical services and disciplinary procedures to minimize the use of illicit drugs. Students are urged to seek help for themselves or on behalf of others in any matter of drug usage. Counseling is available from the staff of the College Health Service. The deans, College chaplains, or members of the faculty and administration may also be consulted when a student is in need of assistance .

III. Distribution, Transfer, and Trafficking. Whenever, in the opinion of the Dean of the College or his/her designee, there is sufficient and credible information or other evidence from within the College or without that a student is or has been distributing, transferring or trafficking in illicit drugs or attempting, soliciting or conspiring to commit any of these offenses with others, or is or has been in possession of such amounts as to make this a reasonable supposition, the student may be temporarily suspended by the Dean of the College or his/her designee until the Committee on Standards hears the case.

Adjudication of Violations of the Student Drug Policy

Violation of the Student Drug Policy will subject students to sanctions ranging, for example, from reprimands with a referral to a drug education program and separation from the College depending upon the nature and circumstances of the case. Sanctions are not automatic.

In determining the appropriate sanction for violation of the policy, the Dean of the College, his or her designee and/or Committee on Standards will, at a minimum, consider the following circumstances:

  1. How the violation was committed;
  2. The amount and nature of the drug(s) involved;
  3. The level of knowledge and intent of the student(s);
  4. Delivery or attempted delivery of drugs; and
  5. Prior offenses of the student(s).

This list is not exhaustive and other circumstances may be considered in the determination of a sanction. There may also be legal consequences for criminal charges that may result from the use, possession or distribution of illegal drugs.

State and Federal Drug Laws

The following summary of some pertinent drug laws is not exhaustive and is subject to change. If students have questions concerning the scope and applications of the law, they should consult legal counsel.

Importantly, any person who is convicted of possession or trafficking of a controlled drug under a state or federal drug statute will be ineligible for Federal benefits for a proscribed period of time. This includes the Federal benefit of Federal Financial Aid. 21 U.S.C.A. § 862. For more detailed information on federal laws regarding drug offenses and penalties see 21 USC Part D or contact the Office of the General Counsel at (603) 646-2444.

All students are reminded that it is illegal under New Hampshire law to:

  1. Possess, manufacture, control, sell, purchase, administer, transport, dispense, possess with an intent to sell, package or repackage any controlled drug or controlled drug analog, Penalties for this offense vary according to the nature and the amount of the drug. See NH RSA 318-B:26 for a list of all penalties.
  2. Deliver, possess with intent to deliver, or manufacture with intent to deliver, drug paraphernalia, knowing that it is intended to be used to plant, grow, harvest, manufacture, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, store, conceal, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the controlled substance into the human body. NH RSA 318-B:2. Violation is a misdemeanor, up to one year in jail, up to $2,000 fine.
  3. Drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of any controlled drug. NH RSA 265-A:2. Violation is a Class B misdemeanor, minimum fine of $750, completion of impaired driver intervention program, revocation of privilege to drive for minimum of 9 months, and possible drug or alcohol treatment.

Last Updated: 9/15/14