Alcohol Policy

Principle on Which This Policy is Based

The laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia are clear and unambiguous: persons under the age of 21 are not to purchase, consume, or possess any alcoholic beverage; and that persons over 21 have these rights, but are prohibited by law from obtaining alcoholic beverages for the purpose of reselling or providing them to anyone under 21 years of age.
The University also prohibits intoxication by students of any age. Students who violate this rule are subject to sanctions. Those exhibiting symptoms of on-going substance abuse or addiction may also be required to have a substance abuse assessment.
The University endeavors to ensure that alcohol consumption by students on campus is handled maturely, responsibly, and in conformity with the law.
Serious and/or repeated violations of the University Alcohol Policy may lead to probation, suspension, or expulsion.
Persons requesting alcohol-related information or services may contact the Talley Center for Counseling Services, Office of Residence Life, or the Office of Student Conduct and Responsibility.
Parents or guardians may be notified if a student is found responsible for repeated or severe violations of the Alcohol Policy. See “Parental Notification Policy.”


University-controlled public spaces: Those areas on campus for which the University has obtained (or can obtain) Alcoholic Beverage Commission licensing for the sale or service of alcoholic beverages. Included are the Campus Center, the Underground, and Kalnen Inn.

Intoxication: A student is determined to be intoxicated by instrumentation (e.g., AlcoSensor, blood test, breathalyzer); or by behavioral or physical manifestations, or failure of field sobriety tests. Any student under the age of 21 with a blood alcohol level of 0.02% or higher will be considered intoxicated. Intoxicated students may be transported to Mary Washington Hospital or arrested by the University Police.

Possession of alcohol: A student is considered to be in possession of alcohol if it is on his or her person or in his or her residence hall room.

Private spaces: Student rooms in University residence halls. All other space on the University of Mary Washington campus is considered to be public.

Elements of Policy

1. All students who are 21 years of age or older may possess alcoholic beverages of any type in their assigned upper-class residence hall living spaces. These beverages may be served to other persons, who are also 21 years of age or over, in upper-class residence hall living spaces.

2. No student under 21 years of age may purchase, possess, or consume alcoholic beverages of any type.

3. No student shall possess or be under the influence of alcohol while operating or traveling in any vehicle.

4. Beer is the only alcoholic beverage that may be sold on campus by the food service company or other agents of the University.

5. Beer and wine are the only alcoholic beverages that may be served at functions where no admission is charged.

6. Beer must be served only in beer cans or bottles at any function where students of both legal age and underage are present.

7. Food services may sell keg beer at their regularly licensed locations — the Eagle’s Nest and Underground.

8. Host responsibility applies to a residential student who is present and/or aware that his/her guests are engaged in underage consumption of alcohol within the host’s assigned living space, or of-age intoxication which resulted from consumption within the host’s assigned living space. Likewise, host responsibility includes ensuring that underage guests do not possess or consume alcohol and that guests of any age do not become intoxicated.

9. No alcoholic beverages may be consumed in public, nor may open containers of alcoholic beverages be transported in or upon public spaces. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted at any athletic contest, game or match.

10. No of-age persons (including parents) are permitted to bring alcoholic beverages into residence hall living spaces where all assigned occupants are under the age of 21. Empty alcohol containers (decorative or otherwise) in the assigned living spaces of underage individuals do not constitute a violation of the University’s Alcohol Policy, but they do constitute a violation of the residence hall policy. Similarly, beer pong tables or devices associated with unsafe consumption of alcohol do not constitute a violation of the University’s Alcohol Policy, but they do constitute a violation of the residence hall policy.

11. Violations of this policy will be reported to the Director of Student Conduct and Responsibility or designee who is charged with the responsibility for seeing that the provisions of the policy are carried out and that violations are adjudicated appropriately.

12. Severely intoxicated students will be referred to the University Police. Any student who is unresponsive or otherwise thought to be in danger of serious acute alcohol poisoning will be referred to Fredericksburg Emergency Medical Services or a higher level of care for treatment. Violations of the policy against alcohol intoxication are reported to the Director of Student Conduct and Responsibility or designee.