Alcohol Policy

Students under the age of 21 are not to purchase, consume, or possess any alcoholic beverage. A student is considered to be in possession of alcohol if it is on their person or in their assigned living space. Students over the age of 21 may purchase, consume, or possess alcohol, 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 alcohol intoxication by students of any age. 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 for appropriate medical treatment or arrested by police.

Possible sanctions for violating UMW’s alcohol and drug policies include online substance
education, educational papers, community restitution, disciplinary probation, and suspension or expulsion from the residence halls or the university.

Under the University’s “Safe Sammy” Policy, if a student who is intoxicated from the overuse of alcohol seeks help from a University official such as an RA or a police officer, they generally will not be charged with a conduct violation and will not be sanctioned. Similarly, if a student actively seeks help for another student who is intoxicated from the overuse of alcohol, neither student generally will be charged with a conduct violation and neither student will be sanctioned. The student(s) seeking assistance must stay with that student needing assistance until help arrives. For more information, including about situations in which the policy may not apply, see “Safe Sammy Policy.”

Parents or guardians may be notified if a student under the age of 21 is found responsible for a violation of the Alcohol Policy. See “Parental Notification” for more information.

The use or possession of alcohol is prohibited in University-controlled public spaces, except in those areas on campus where the University is providing alcoholic beverages pursuant to an ABC license. In that case, only alcohol provided at the license-covered event or space may be consumed. Students may not bring their own alcoholic beverages to such events or spaces.

Students who are 21 years of age or older may possess legal alcoholic beverages of any type in their assigned upper-class residence hall living spaces, unless otherwise restricted from doing so (for example, in a space designated as being substance-free). These beverages may be served to other persons, who are also 21 years of age or over, in upper-class residence hall living spaces, unless otherwise restricted from doing so.

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 may constitute a violation of residence hall policies and the Code of Conduct.

Similarly, beer pong tables or devices associated with unsafe consumption of alcohol may constitute a violation of residence hall policies and the Code of Conduct. (See Code of Conduct, III.A.3):

No student shall possess or be under the influence of alcohol while operating or traveling in any University-owned or -controlled vehicle, unless they are being transported by a police officer.

The Talley Center for Counseling Services (TCCS) offers free counseling to enrolled undergraduate students. Both individual and group counseling services are available. TCCS will refer to off-campus providers that specialize in drug and/or alcohol use issues if it is determined that a student is in need of specialized treatments, such as detoxification, psychiatric care, or a specialized substance abuse treatment facility. TCCS can provide brief counseling to students who may be abusing substances, but the clinician reserves the right to refer to the student to another provider off campus if he or she determines that the level of care is higher than what TCCS is able to offer the student. Additionally, meetings and weekly on-campus recovery support groups are available. For more information about these, and other resources available through our “Eagles in Recovery” program, please contact the Director of the Office of Student Conduct and Responsibility Dr. Ray Tuttle at 540/654-1660 or

UMW’s Alcohol Policy can also be accessed here.

Local Ordinances: Individuals found in violation of the ordinance prohibiting public intoxication shall be deemed guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.