Alcohol, Marijuana, and Other Drug Policies, Laws, and Ordinances

PSU Alcohol Policy:

  • Students, faculty, and staff are expected to comply with local, state, and federal laws relating to the possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and other drugs when they are on university property or taking part in university activities.
  • The consumption of alcohol by students, faculty, and staff of legal age, on university property or during university activities, is a privilege and not a right.
  • Due to concerns for personal safety, safety of others and for the image of the university, it is expected, that discretion be used when consuming alcoholic beverages either on or away from university property.
  • Those who do choose to consume alcohol should know and respect their own limits and practice legal and low-risk drinking behaviors. The influence of alcohol or drugs will not excuse or justify, an individual’s actions, which are a violation of state, federal or local laws, university regulations, or the rights of others.
  • The influence of alcohol will not excuse or justify an individual’s actions, which are a violation of state, federal or local laws, university regulations, or the rights of others.
  • Any individual or group who provides or procures alcohol for another person shares in the responsibility for that person’s behavior and safety while under the influence of alcohol.
  • Employees are prohibited from the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of any controlled substance in the workplace.

The following are against PSU policies:

  1. Unlawful use or possession, internal or external, of alcohol.
  2. Providing, procuring, supplying or distributing alcohol to a minor.
  3. Providing an environment for an underage person to consume alcohol.
  4. Severe intoxication.
  5. Threat to self or others while under the influence of a substance.
  6. Abuse or misuse of a substance.
  7. Inappropriate conduct while under the influence of a substance.
  8. Administering alcohol to a person for the purpose of inducing his or her incapacity.

The following are against university housing policies:

  1. Keg and/or large common source of alcohol.
  2. Under age person in the presence of alcohol.
  3. Alcohol paraphernalia with evidence of use or intent to be used illegally or in violation of university policy. Examples include but are not limited to: empty alcohol containers, including those used for decoration; alcohol container boxes; funnels.

EXCEPTIONS to university housing policies:

Of age students living in residence halls may store and consume alcohol in their room under the following circumstances:

  • No alcoholic beverage may be opened or used while any person underage is present in the room.
  • The door remains closed when an alcoholic beverage is open.
  • No other alcohol and other drug policy is violated.

Of age students living in university apartments may store and consume alcohol in their apartment under the following circumstances:

  • No alcoholic beverage may be opened or consumed while any underage person (with the exception of underage roommates) is present in the apartment.
  • No other alcohol and other drug policy is violated.

Underage students living in the university apartments may be in the presence of alcohol if:

  • They are within their assigned apartment, and
  • They are not consuming alcohol, and
  • They have a least one roommate who is 21 or older.

PSU Marijuana and Other Drugs Policy:

  • Employees are prohibited from the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of any controlled substance in the workplace.
  • In situations where the use of medication, by a person employed by the university, may negatively affect mental concentration or coordination (such as antihistamines or “mood altering” drugs), safety considerations may require temporary reassignment of duties and responsibilities by the department chairperson or supervisor following notification of such use by the faculty or staff member.
  • Students, faculty, and staff are expected to comply with local, state, and federal laws relating to the possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and other drugs when they are on university property or taking part in university activities.
  • The influence of drugs  will not excuse or justify an individual’s actions, which are a violation of state, federal or local laws, university regulations, or the rights of others.

The following are against PSU policies:

  1. Use or possession of marijuana.
  2. Providing an environment for a person to use illegal drugs.
  3. Unlawful possession or use of a controlled substance/illegal drug.
  4. Providing, distributing, intent to distribute or sell marijuana or a controlled substance/illegal drug.
  5. Threat to self or others while under the influence of a substance.
  6. Abuse or misuse of a substance.
  7. Inappropriate conduct while under the influence of a substance.
  8. Administering a drug to a person for the purpose of inducing his or her incapacity.

The following are against university housing policies:

  1. In the presence of marijuana use.
  2. Drug paraphernalia with evidence of use or intent to be used illegally or in violation of university policy. Examples include but are not limited to: bong, pipe, blow tubes.
  3. Evidence of use of marijuana including but not limited to: smell, smoke, seeds, or residue.

Policies and Procedures for Alcoholic Beverage Services for University Events/Activities

Plymouth State University believes it is appropriate that alcoholic beverage services be allowed at some university activities and does periodically provide such service for student organizations, Faculty/staff department sponsored activities, and for summer conferences and off campus groups. Procedures and policies that pertain to the service of alcoholic beverages are as follows:

  1. All New Hampshire laws relating to the service of alcoholic beverages must be adhered to at all times. All Town of Plymouth ordinances that pertain to alcoholic beverage service and “open container” of alcohol laws must be adhered to on university property.
  2. Students, faculty and staff, and off campus organizations desiring to have alcoholic beverage services approved in university facilities or on university property for an activity or event must contact the Assistant Vice-President for Student Affairs, Student Life  to request alcoholic beverage service. Depending on the specific size, type, and location of the activity, the Assistant Vice-President for Student Affairs, Student Life  will determine whether the food service catering license or a one-day permit to serve alcoholic beverages will be needed to provide the service. No alcoholic beverages can be sold at any university function without the proper state license. Only authorized staff of the food service company or a department possessing a state-granted, one-day permit will be allowed to serve alcoholic beverages.

    Exceptions.  The following will be exempted from procedural provisions of this section and shall be approved on a case by case basis by the institution.  Under no conditions will students participate in these events.

    Official university events sponsored by the PSU Office of the President.

    Events held at Frost Academic Commons utilizing the university’s food service catering liquor license and served by such authorized staff.

    Frost Academic Commons Board must notify the President and Provost for approval to sponsor faculty events that include alcoholic beverages.  All such events must be in accordance with Frost Commons Board procedures.

  3. Non-alcoholic beverages and food must be provided at any event where alcoholic beverages are available.
  4. BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) events are not permitted at Plymouth State University.
  5. Persons may be refused alcoholic beverage service if they are not in possession of a picture identification card with positive date of birth (driver’s license, passport, or military identification card as per N.H. State Law).
  6. See Residential Life policies pertaining to use and possession of alcoholic beverages in university residential housing and facilities.
  7. Alcoholic beverages should not be served or consumed in academic classrooms or in any offices on campus. Service of alcoholic beverages will only be approved for function or meeting rooms on campus. There may be special occasions when alcoholic beverages will be allowed in campus dining facilities.
  8. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed in university vehicles.
  9. Due to N.H. State laws, liability issues and concern for the health and well being of individuals, alcoholic beverage servers will not serve anyone who is intoxicated (adopted by PSU President Wharton, and effective 11/30/94).

Plymouth and Holderness Town Ordinances Regarding Alcohol and Drugs

Carrying an Open Container of Alcohol: It is unlawful for any person, regardless of age, to carry an open container of an alcoholic beverage on any public road, sidewalk, parking lot or the Town Common in the Town of Plymouth.  Can result in a fine up to $1000.  It should also be noted that surrounding communities have similar ordinances.

Public Consumption of Alcohol: Plymouth and other area communities prohibit public consumption of alcohol and impose fines for violation up to $1000. These ordinances are vigorously enforced – anyone choosing to violate them can expect to be arrested.

Federal, State and Local Laws Regarding Alcohol and Drugs

The following information is an overview of relevant laws; more detailed information and referrals are available through the Division of Student Affairs or the Human Resources Office.

Acts Prohibited: Controlled substance/drug use (RSA 318-B:2): New Hampshire has criminal penalties for the use of controlled substances, or drugs, with penalties varying with the type of drug.  In general, narcotic drugs, addictive drugs, and drugs with a high potential for abuse have heavier penalties.

Controlled drugs include: marijuana, barbiturates, amphetamines, tranquilizers, hallucinogens, opiates, cocaine, mescaline, psilocybin, D.M.T., narcotics, crack and all other drugs of a similar nature which are either outlawed outright or illegal when not prescribed by a Physician or used other than how specifically prescribed.

Under state or federal law, persons convicted of controlled drug possession are ineligible for federal student grants and loans for up to one year after the first conviction, five years after the second; the penalty for distributing drugs is loss of benefits for five years after the first conviction, 10 years after the second, and permanently after the third.

Controlled Substance/Drug Distribution: Under federal law, distribution of controlled drugs in or within 1,000 feet of a university or school to persons under age 21 is punishable by twice the normal penalty with a mandatory one year in prison; a third conviction is punishable by mandatory life imprisonment.  Federal law sets greatly heightened prison sentences for the manufacture and distribution of controlled drugs if death or serious injury results from use of the substance.

DWI (RSA 265:82): Included among the penalties for the first conviction of driving under the influence of alcohol is a $1000.00 fine and a loss of license for not less than 90 days. The legal BAC for those 21 and over is .08; New Hampshire has a very strict .02 BAC DWI law for any person under the age of 21 years; usual penalty may be up to a $1000.00 fine, 2 years loss of license, and an alcohol education course.

Facilitating/Hosting an Underage Drinking Party (RSA 644:18): An underage drinking party is any gathering of 5 or more where at least one person is illegally possessing alcohol.  This is a misdemeanor that could carry a fine up to $1,200 and a jail sentence up to 1 year.

Heroin – In presence of: New Hampshire makes it illegal to be in a place where heroin is kept and to be in the company of a person known to possess heroin.  Sale and possession of drug paraphernalia is also illegal.

Minor in Possession of Alcohol (RSA 179:10): New Hampshire law states that it is unlawful for any person under the age of twenty-one years to possess an alcoholic beverage.  The usual penalty for first time violators is a $150.00 fine (but the fine can be as high as $500.00).  Second offense violators are usually fined $250.00 and are placed on probation. A mandatory procedure followed by local and state police is that any minor found possessing alcohol will be arrested.

Internal Possession: A person under the age of 21 is guilty of a violation if he or she is intoxicated (any amount of alcohol in system) due to consumption of an alcoholic beverage. $250 minimum for the first offense, $500 minimum for subsequent offenses, possible additional penalties such as the loss of New Hampshire State Drivers License even if the violation does not occur while operating a vehicle.

Misrepresenting one’s age or falsifying an identification to obtain alcoholic beverages (RSA 179:10-a): is punishable by a fine of $2000.00 and/or a year in jail.

Prohibited Sales: Sale or delivery of alcohol beverages to persons under 21 (RSA 179:5): New Hampshire law prohibits the sale or delivery of alcoholic beverages to per-sons under 21 with a fine of up to $2000.00 and/or a year in jail.

Transporting Alcoholic Beverages (RSA 265:81-3 and RSA 265:81): It is unlawful for any driver of a motor vehicle to transport, carry or possess any alcoholic beverage either open or with the original seal broken in the passenger area of the car. A penalty of up to $1000 and loss of license can be expected for violation of this law.

Minor Transporting Alcoholic Beverages: It is unlawful for any driver, under the age of 21, except when accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or legal age spouse, to transport any liquor or beverage in any part of the vehicle. Violations may result in a 60 day suspension of license or right to drive.