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Student Development

Drug and Alcohol Policy

Policy Statement and Federal, State and Local Laws/Penalties


Policy Statement on Substance Abuse

The College is committed to fostering an environment free of drug and alcohol abuse through (1) education and counseling programs, and (2) the prohibition of illegal or imprudent use of
drugs or alcohol. The College prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession and use of controlled substances. Controlled substances include, but are not
limited to: narcotics, barbiturates, amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, anabolic steroids and misused prescription or legal drugs or alcohol. As used in this policy, the words “substance”
and “controlled substance” include alcoholic beverages. Those who use controlled substances or illicitly use or abuse legal substances, including but not limited to alcohol, are in violation of
the law and of Washington College policy. Compliance with this policy is a condition of enrollment at the College. All Washington College students are expected to be familiar with
and abide by the principles and details of this policy. This policy will be reviewed at least biennially to assess its effectiveness, to implement appropriate changes and to ensure that the
disciplinary sanctions discussed are consistently enforced. The Washington College policy on alcohol and other drugs exists within the context of local, state, and federal laws. The regulations contained in this policy are designed to comply with all applicable Chestertown and Kent County ordinances and the laws of Maryland and the United States, including the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989. The illegal use and abuse of alcohol or prescription drugs and/or use of illicit drugs, violates the Washington College community standards and, when reported, will be handled in a serious manner.

Maryland State Laws and Penalties

  •  It is illegal in the state of Maryland for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase, possess or drink alcohol.
  •  It is illegal for a person under 21 to falsify or misrepresent his or her age to obtain alcohol, or to possess alcoholic beverages with the intent to consume.
  •  It is illegal to purchase or otherwise supply alcohol to individuals who are under the age 21. 

Penalties for the above violations are a $500 fine for the first offense, and up to a $1000 fine for repeat offenses. 

In the state of Maryland, a person may not drive or attempt to drive any vehicle while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol. A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of between .04 and .08 may result in a charge of Driving Under the Influence (DUI); a level of .08 or higher may result in a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) charge. Drinking and driving charges are not restricted to these BAC limits. An underage drinker with a BAC of .02 (approximately one drink) may be charged with a violation of restricted license, which will result in a suspension of the driver’s license. The driver may also face a fine of up to $500. An individual can still be charged
with a violation despite possession of an out-of-state driver’s license.

Federal Controlled Dangerous Substances/Illegal Drug Laws and Penalties

Federal law states that it is unlawful to possess any controlled substance, including marijuana, cocaine and heroin. If the substance is cocaine, or contains a cocaine base, the penalty for
simple possession is a fine and/or imprisonment from five to 20 years. For other illegal drugs, the penalty for simple possession is a fine of at least $1,000 and/or imprisonment for up to
three years.

The penalties increase if the possession includes intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense a controlled substance, especially if done near a public or private elementary, vocational or secondary school, or a public or private college or university. Any person who violates this law shall also be liable to the U.S. government for an amount up to $10,000 in civil penalties. In
addition to federal laws, violations of state of Maryland laws regarding the distribution, manufacturing and possession of controlled substances may result in penalties of up to
$25,000 and imprisonment for up to 20 years for a first offense. It is also unlawful to drive while under the influence of any Controlled Dangerous Substance, whether legal or illegal
(prescribed or unlawfully obtained.) An individual can be charged with a violation despite possession of an out-of-state driver’s license. Violations may result in suspension of the driver’s license.

College Alcohol and Other Drugs Policies

Washington College has several policies addressing the use of alcohol and other drugs. In addition to federal, state, and local laws, students are required to comply with College policies
pertaining to alcohol use on campus.

Alcohol Policy

Students are required to abide by all Maryland and Kent County laws and Washington College regulations regarding the use of alcohol. These rules specify that persons under 21 years of
age are prohibited from possessing or consuming any alcoholic beverage at Washington College.

Students who are 21 years of age or older may possess and consume alcohol on campus in accordance with the following:

  •  Alcohol may be consumed only within assigned rooms or suites. Open containers of alcohol are prohibited in common spaces, such as hallways and lounges, and in public areas, such as lobbies or outdoors.
  • Students who possess alcohol on campus are responsible for its legal and responsible use. This includes taking reasonable precautions to prevent the possession of alcohol by underage students and guests.
  • Kegs and other mechanisms or devices that permit purchase, storage, and distribution of alcohol in bulk quantities or that allow unregulated access to alcohol by any means, are prohibited.
  • Students may not sell or distribute alcohol anywhere on campus. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, cash bars, events to which admission tickets are sold or for which fees are charged, either by the event or for a period of time (e.g., entertainment charge or annual dues), entitling the purchase access to an open bar, and parties at which alcoholic beverages are served and for which contributions or donations to offset the costs of the party are sought.
  • College funds allocated for hall activities and any college sponsored programming may not include alcohol.
  • Students are responsible for the behavior of their guests, including any violation of policy.
  • Students found to be in an intoxicated state on campus may be subject to mandatory medical or psychological intervention as well as appropriate disciplinary action (except as outlined in the Medical Amnesty Policy section found below).

Marijuana Policy

Marijuana is an illegal substance and is prohibited. Any student, who is found to be in possession of, or using marijuana, will face disciplinary action and possible criminal charges. Water pipes, bongs, hookahs, and other paraphernalia commonly associated with drug use are also prohibited.

Policy for Other Controlled Substances

The possession or use of narcotics and/or other controlled substances without a valid prescription is prohibited. Students are expected to obey federal and state laws regarding the use, sale, and distribution of controlled substances.

Parent or Guardian Notification

To provide support or assistance to students, the College may choose to notify parents or legal guardians of students under the age of 21 who have violated the alcohol or drugs policies. This
decision will be made according to the professional judgment of appropriate staff and will be consistent with the application of privacy laws. The primary goal of notifying parents or legal
guardians is to promote the health and well-being of the community and the individual student.

Medical Amnesty Policy

It is imperative that someone calls for medical assistance when an individual experiences severe intoxication or a serious injury after consuming alcohol or other substances. People may be reluctant to seek help in such alcohol or other substance related emergencies because of potential judicial consequences for themselves or the person in need of assistance. Since
these emergencies are potentially life threatening, the Medical Amnesty Policy reduces or eliminates disciplinary consequences for students who obtain medical help for an intoxicated student or guest or even for themselves.

This policy is part of Washington College’s comprehensive approach to reducing harmful consequences caused by the consumption of alcohol or other drugs. The Medical Amnesty
Policy represents the College’s commitment to increasing the likelihood that community members will call for medical assistance when faced with an alcohol or substance-related
emergency. The Medical Amnesty Policy also provides education for individuals who receive emergency medical attention to reduce the likelihood of future occurrences.

How does the Medical Amnesty Policy work?

The Medical Amnesty Policy reduces or eliminates disciplinary consequences when medical help is obtained for an intoxicated student as follows:

Person in need of medical attention
If an individual who receives emergency medical attention related to his or her consumption of alcohol or other substances completes a required educational follow-up at Health Services
and/or with the Director of Student Development he or she will not be subject to judicial action for the following policy violations should they occur at the time of the emergency: underage consumption and/or possession of alcohol and illegal drugs disorderly conduct


A person in need of medical attention is eligible for medical amnesty on more than one
occasion.

Calling on behalf of someone else
An individual who calls for emergency assistance on behalf of a person experiencing an alcohol-or other substance related emergency would not be subject to judicial action for the
following policy violations should they occur at the time of the emergency: underage consumption and/or possession of alcohol
provision of alcohol to an underage person


For more information about the Medical Amnesty Policy, contact Beth Anne Langrell, the Director of Student Development, blangrell2@washcoll.edu.

Alcohol and Other Drugs Violations and Sanctions:

What to Expect

The College’s response to alcohol or other drug violations will depend in part upon the level of the violation. For the purposes of this policy, there are two levels of violations, categorized by
frequency and severity:

first violation/low-level violation
second or subsequent violation/serious first violation

Sanctions most likely to result from alcohol and other drug violations at these two levels are listed below. Please note, these are not exhaustive lists and provide only a range of typical
sanctions; other sanctions not listed here may be assigned when appropriate. Designated college administrators or the Honor Board will make their decisions based on conversation with
the student and a review of the student’s past actions, and consider what is most likely to effect a positive and lasting change in a student’s behavior when assigning sanctions for alcohol or other drug policy violations. Incident reports documenting behavior in violation of College policy, letters from College administrators and records from Honor Board or other administrative hearings are maintained in the student’s file located in Student Affairs.

Alcohol Violations

First violation/low-level violation
For a first low-level violation the most common outcome is a letter of warning kept in the student’s file for one year. Should a first low-level violation occur in conjunction with other alcohol or behavior related concerns, the student may be required to meet with a College administrator to discuss the concerns.

Possible sanctions that may be considered:

  • Citation and fine
  • Letter of Warning
  • Educational conversation with College administrator documented in a follow-up letter to the student

Typical Notifications:

  • If a student is a varsity athlete - Athletic coach and Athletic staff notification
  • If a student is a Greek organization member - Director of Student Development notified

Second or Subsequent Violation/First Serious Violation

Second or subsequent violations or serious first violations will be reviewed by a College administrator and the Honor Board to determine appropriate educational and judicial follow-up.
The case may be referred to the Honor Board for adjudication and/or the Director of Student Development for educational follow up. Sanctions for a second violation or first serious violation
may include a minimum one semester probation and demonstration of successful completion of alcohol education requirements or similar activity. Students placed on probation and later reported for a possible violation of College policy, especially a moderate or serious violation, will be referred to the Honor Board and may face possible suspension from the College for a
semester.

Possible sanctions that may be considered:

  • Official College Warning
  • Probation for a semester or extension of existing probation
  • Completion of an alcohol education program or community service followed by a reflection paper
  • Required substance abuse evaluation by a substance abuse counselor
  • Suspension from on-campus housing
  • Restriction to classes and class-related activities (prohibited from attending social activities, entering the Student Center, residence halls, etc.)
  • Suspension from the College for a semester for a moderate to serious violation committed while on probation
  • Suspension for two semesters or longer for repeated violations while on probation or for a very serious violation while on probation

Typical Notifications:

  • Parent/guardian notification
  • Associate Provost notification
  • If a student is a varsity athlete - Athletic coach and Athletic staff notification
  •  If a student is a Greek organization member - Director of Student Development notified

Drug Use and Paraphernalia Violations

First Violation
A first violation will be reviewed by the Honor Board and may result in a minimum of one semester of probation and demonstration of successful completion of a substance abuse
education requirement or similar activity.

Second or Subsequent Violation/First Serious Violation
Serious first violations will be reviewed by the Honor Board and may result in more serious sanctions including suspension for a semester or more, evidence of substance abuse counseling or other appropriate learning and development activity while away and a two semester or more period of probation upon return. Students reported for a second or subsequent violation of College policy during the period of probation will be referred to the
Honor Board and face possible suspension or, for repeated or serious violations, expulsion from the College. In all cases, students should be aware that violations involving controlled
dangerous substances (CDS) will be reported to local authorities who may file charges in the local court system independently.

Possible sanctions that may be considered:

  • Probation for a semester or extension of existing probation
  • Substance abuse education activity or community service followed by a reflection paper
  • Suspension from on-campus housing
  • Restriction to classes and class-related activities (prohibited from attending social activities, entering the Student Center, residence halls, etc.)
  • Suspension from the College for a semester for a moderate to serious violation committed while on probation
  • Suspension for two semesters or longer or expulsion for repeated violation while on probation or for a very serious violation while on probation

Typical Notifications:

  • Parent/guardian notification
  • Associate Provost notification
  •  If a student is a varsity athlete - Athletic coach and Athletic department staff notified
  •  If a student is a Greek organization member - Director of Student Development notified

In addition to the possible sanctions listed above, students should also be aware of other potential consequences of drug related convictions through the court system. If a student is convicted of any offense involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs, under the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA), the student is ineligible for federal student aid funds. A drug related conviction might also affect a student’s:

  • Eligibility to participate in a study abroad program
  • Eligibility for employment
  • Ability to acquire certification to work in fields of education, recreation, and with senior citizens
  • Ability to acquire professional licensure, i.e., counseling, law, health care professions, etc.

All students should be aware that current federal statutes permit notification of parents/legal guardians of a student’s violation of college alcohol policy. Both designated college administrators and the honor board may recommend to the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students that parental/legal guardian notification occur. The Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students will make a final determination of the appropriateness of notification. The Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students may also notify parents/legal guardians without a designated college administrator’s or Honor Board’s
recommendation when the situation warrants notification. Each student should be prepared that parental/legal guardian notification may occur if an underage student is reported for a
violation of the college alcohol or other drug policies.