Sac State University Policy Manual

Alcohol Beverage and Drug Policy

Policy Administrator: Vice President for Student Affairs
Authority:  PM 03-06, Alcoholic Beverage and Drug Policy, PM 02-08 Alcoholic Beverages on Campus
Effective Date:  September 24, 2008
Updated:  May 6, 2002, Fall 2007
Cross References:  Drug

Policy File Number: STU-0103




  • Introduction

 Alcohol and drug abuse affects everyone. At California State University, Sacramento (hereafter referred to as Sacramento State), we recognize that the abuse of alcohol and other drugs is a threat to the mission of this institution and the health and welfare of our students, staff, faculty and University community. We believe that students, faculty and staff have a mutual interest and shared responsibility to educate one another regarding both the health and legal consequences associated with alcohol and other drugs and to make thoughtful and informed choices regarding their use.

The following policy and procedures set regulations for the use of alcohol as well as delineate the prohibition of the use of illicit drugs and misuse of legal pharmaceutical drugs. This policy supersedes all other previous policies (UMA 00550) regarding the use of alcoholic beverages and other drugs at Sacramento State.


  • Policy Statement
  • Except as expressly permitted by law or University regulations, the use possession, manufacture or distribution of alcoholic beverages is prohibited while on campus or at a Sacramento State related activity.
    • Public intoxication while on campus or at a University related activity is prohibited.  Intoxication includes being under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.


    • Except as expressly permitted by law or University regulations the use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of illegal drugs or drug-related paraphernalia, or the misuse of legal pharmaceutical drugs is prohibited.


  • Violations


    • All applicable laws will be enforced by the Department of Public Safety.


    • In addition to criminal prosecution, Sacramento State may impose sanctions on students, faculty and staff found in violation of this policy. 


      • Students may be warned, placed on probation, suspended or expelled from Sacramento State. Additionally, students living in the residence halls may be removed from campus housing.


      • Parental Notification. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) provides colleges/universities the option to notify parents/guardians about specific types of information from a student's conduct record. The Vice President of Student Affairs reserves the right to notify parents/guardians when a student is found to have violated University policies regarding the use or possession of alcohol or other drugs when he/she is under the age of 21.


      • Faculty and staff may be counseled, issued a letter of reprimand, referred to and required to participate satisfactorily in an approved drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program, suspended without pay or terminated (UMD 03350).


  • Federal Laws


    • Possession of Illicit Drugs. A first offense may incur prison sentences up to one year and fines up to $100,000. A second offense may incur prison sentences up to two years and fines up to $250,000. Special sentencing provisions apply for possession of crack cocaine, including imprisonment of 5 to 20 years and fines up to $250,000 for first offenses, depending upon the quantity possessed.


    • Trafficking of Illicit Drugs. Under federal law, the manufacture, sale or distribution of all Schedule I and II illicit drugs (e.g., cocaine, methamphetamines, heroin, PCP, LSD, and all mixtures containing such substances) is a felony. A first offense incurs a prison sentence of five years to life (20 years to life if death or serious injury is involved), and fines of up to $4 million for offenses by individuals ($10 million for other than individuals). Federal law also prohibits trafficking in marijuana, hashish and mixtures containing such substances. A first offense for these offenses may incur a maximum penalty of five years to life (20 years to life if death or serious injury is involved) and fines up to $4 million for offense by individuals ($10 million for other than individuals). Penalties vary depending upon the quantity of drugs involved. A second offense in marijuana or related trafficking may result in penalties ranging from 10 years to life (not less than life if death or serious injury is involved), and fines up to $8 million for individuals ($20 million for other than individuals). The trafficking of medically useful drugs (e.g., prescription and over the counter drugs) is illegal. A first offense may result in prison sentence up to five years, while a second offense may incur a prison sentence up to ten years.


    • Notification: In compliance with the Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Regulations (34 CFR Part 86) of the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA): 1) Every student, staff and faculty member shall annually receive a copy of the policy. 2) Each new employee will be given a copy of the policy.


  • Alcoholic Beverage Consumption and Sale on the Sacramento State Campus


    • University policy is consistent with all applicable California state laws and county and city ordinances regarding alcohol and other drugs. In addition, the following are Sacramento State regulations regarding alcoholic beverage consumption and sale:


      • The consumption of alcoholic beverages by individuals 21-years of age and over is permitted on University premises subject to the limitations contained in this policy and within enforcement provisions provided by state law, rules and regulations.


      • Alcoholic beverages may not be sold or consumed in generally accessible open areas. Additionally, alcoholic beverages will not be sold or consumed at events which do not permit complete control in accordance with University policy, Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control rules and state laws.


      • Alcohol may be sold and consumed in permanently licensed campus facilities and only as a part of University Enterprises, Inc. operations. University Enterprises, Inc. is responsible for establishing and administering procedures that comply with campus policy and rules set forth by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.


      • Other campus facilities may be licensed on a temporary basis for the sale and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages. University Enterprises, Inc. shall provide service for such events in a manner consistent with University policy and Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control regulations.


      • Alcoholic beverages consumed in unlicensed campus facilities are subject to the following conditions:


        • Distribution and/or sale by campus catering. An organization utilizing campus catering to dispense and/or sell alcoholic beverages at an event is not required to submit an Application for Approval for the Consumption and/or Sale of Alcoholic Beverages. (This application is available through Event Services located in the University Union.)


        • Distribution without campus catered service. Schools, divisions, departments, student organizations, auxiliary organizations, and other recognized faculty, staff or student organizations and University co-sponsored groups may apply in advance to receive approval for specific events to consume, but not sell, alcoholic beverages in unlicensed campus facilities by submitting an Application for Approval for the Consumption and/or Sale of Alcoholic Beverages.


        • Sale and Distribution without Campus Catered Service. An organization not using campus catering for the sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages must apply in advance to receive permission by submitting the Application for Approval for the Consumption and/or Sale of Alcoholic Beverages.


        • The sale of alcohol for profit is prohibited without a license from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Exchanging any consideration, either directly or indirectly, for an alcoholic beverage constitutes a sale. “Consideration” includes money, tickets, tokens, or chips, which have been issued in exchange for money or anything else of value. All alcoholic beverages are prohibited as gifts, raffles, lotteries, prizes, etc. and may not be included in any type of silent or live auction. The affixing of an admission charge, donation or collection of funds at the event at which alcoholic beverages will be served to those that pay the admission charge or contribute funds constitutes a sale. A sale requires the submission and approval of the Application for Approval for the Consumption and/or Sale of Alcoholic Beverages.


        • Approval shall not be granted to individuals.


        • No authorization for the consumption of alcoholic beverages shall be assumed unless approval has been received in writing. A copy of this approval must be available at the event.


        • Established procedures for reserving University facilities shall be followed in addition to the request for the consumption of alcoholic beverages.


        • An event shall not be open to the public or University community at large and shall not be advertised to the public or University community as an event where alcoholic beverages are to be served. Attendance at an event shall be limited to members of the sponsoring group and their invited guests.


        • An officer or host of the sponsoring group and the person in charge of the event are both individually responsible and liable for compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, University policies and procedures.


        • No minors shall be permitted to consume alcoholic beverages at any time. No person under 21-years of age shall be in attendance unless specific control procedures to prevent service to and consumption by minors have been previously approved.


        • No obviously intoxicated person shall be furnished, served or given an alcoholic beverage.


        • The University administration has the prerogative of over-ruling the non-legal binding portions of this policy.


  • Alcoholic Beverages and Athletic Events



    • Tailgating Regulations. The Alcoholic Beverage and Drug Policy prohibits all possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages on the Sacramento State campus unless a specific exception has been stated. Tailgating provides an opportunity for fans to arrive early, park, and enjoy their own food and beverages prior to the game. Tailgating is permitted on days of home football games and is intended for use by those fans attending the games. There is no tailgating permitted prior to or during any other sporting events. This type of activity is an exception to the Alcoholic Beverage and Drug Policy and must adhere to the following regulations:


      • Tailgate activities are limited to two hours prior to the start of the game.


      • A contained area for the consumption of legal alcoholic beverages within a segment of the parking lots adjacent to the stadium may be established for tailgate activities.


      • Alcoholic beverage consumption in other campus locations, with the exception of spaces licensed for the sale and service of alcohol, is not permitted.


    • Alcohol and Advertising (Executive Order 966).


      • Any promotional displays or messages shall incorporate clear language and encourage only responsible and legal use of alcoholic beverages. Such messages shall be at least as prominent as any other message content such as product slogans or listed attributes of a particular product.


      • Advertising from local retailers or distributors that promote "drink specials" (i.e., 2-for-1 drinks, half-price happy hour drinks, etc.) should not be accepted or posted.


      • Beverage alcohol advertising on campus or in institutional media should not portray drinking as a solution to personal or academic problems, or as necessary to personal, social, sexual, or academic success.


      • Beverage alcohol marketers/distributors must support campus alcohol awareness programs that encourage and inform students about the responsible use or non-use of beer, wine, or distilled spirits.


      • Alcoholic beverage promotions permitted by Sacramento State may not incorporate students or employees (including coaches, faculty, etc.) as active participants in a promotional message.


      • In all promotions, alcoholic beverage trademarks or logos must be clearly subordinate to the sponsored event itself.


      • Promotional activities should not be associated with existing campus events or programs without the prior knowledge or consent of the president.


      • The name of an alcoholic beverage product may not be connected to the name of a university event or a facility (i.e., XYZ wine golf tournament, etc.).


      • The university's name or department or any related nickname may not be utilized in a way that implies a product endorsement by the university (i.e., XYZ Beer - beverage of choice for CSU, ______ fans).


      • Alcoholic beverages should not be provided as free awards to individual students, campus organizations or other members of the academic community.


      • University departments and organizations may not distribute clothing, posters, or other promotional items that utilize the university symbol in combination with an alcoholic beverage trademark or logo.


      • Any alcohol promotional material connected with any university athletic event (i.e., media guide game programs) must receive prior written approval by the athletic director and the president.


      • Promotional materials associated with any other university program (other than athletics) must be approved by the Vice President for Student Affairs.


      • This policy does not restrict the amount or content of alcohol advertising, purchased independently through commercial radio or TV companies, during broadcasts of athletic events. However, broadcasters under contract with a CSU institution should strongly be urged to follow the above provisions when accepting commercials that promote alcoholic beverages.


      • Student newspaper publications should also be encouraged to follow the above provisions for any advertising messages for alcoholic beverage companies/distributors


  • Student Organization Recruitment and Alcohol


    • All membership recruitment activities (e.g., fraternities and sororities, departmental clubs, and special interest groups) shall be alcohol free.


    • Recruitment is defined as any activity intended to gain new members. This includes, but is not limited to, the time between the opening of the residence halls and the acceptance of an invitation to membership.



  • Description of Health Risks


Information on risks associated with alcohol/drugs is available through the Student Health Center Health Education Department. The office can be contacted in Room 122 of the Health Center or by phone at 278-5422. All services are confidential.  Additional information on health risks may be found on the Sacramento State web page at


    • Amphetamines. Excitation, increased pulse rate and blood pressure, paranoia, insomnia, decreased mental ability, sexual impotence, hallucinations, convulsions, stroke or death.
    • Cocaine. Tremors, muscle twitches, paranoia, seizures, nasal bleeding and inflammation, damage to nasal septum and blood vessels, stroke, or death as a result of cardiac or respiratory arrest.
    • Nicotine. High blood pressure, nervousness, dehydration, emphysema, bronchitis, heart failure, heart and lung cancer, death.
    • Caffeine. Nervousness, insomnia, dehydration, stomach irritation, fatigue. 
    • Alcohol. Decreased judgment, impaired motor function, dehydration, hangover, depression, obesity, impotence, malnutrition, liver and brain damage, diabetes, delirium tremens, overdose, respiratory failure, or death. 
    • Depressants. Slurred speech, disorientation, hangover, nausea, depression, convulsions, shallow respiration, weak and rapid pulse, can be fatal if mixed with alcohol. 
    • Narcotics. Respiratory and circulatory depression, dizziness, vomiting, dry mouth, lowered libido, lethargy, constipation, weight loss, temporary sterility and impotence, withdrawal sickness, stupor, death.
    • Inhalants. Headaches, dizziness, accelerated heart rate, nausea, nasal irritation, cough, hallucination, muscle weakness, weight loss, paralysis, liver, kidney, bone marrow and brain damage, death.
    • Marijuana. Impaired motor skills, fatigue, paranoia, lack of motivation, irregular menstrual cycle, impaired sperm mobility and low sperm count, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or lung cancer, and disordered behavior, potential lung damage.
    • Prescription Drugs (non-medical use). Allergic reaction, dependence, addiction, tolerance, psychotic episodes, risk of heart attack or stroke, or death due to overdosing.
  • Resource Information


A comprehensive listing of resources is found on the Sacramento State web page at  These resources include, but are not limited to:

    • Alcohol Education Program
    • Employee Assistance Program

    • Psychological Counseling Services     
    • Residence Halls

    • Student Activities                                              
    • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)   
    • AL-ANON                  
    • 1-800-GO-4-CSUS  Safe Rides
  • Other Campus Policies

Several campus departments have an alcohol/drug policy tailored to their specialized needs, i.e. drug testing. Some of these include, but are not limited to:

    • Associated Students, Inc
    • Health Education
    • Division of Intercollegiate Athletics
    • Division of Nursing
    • Human Resources
    • Office of Student Activities
    • Office of Residential Life
    • Psychological Counseling Services
    • Violence and Sexual Assault Support Services



Approved by Alexander Gonzalez, President

September 24, 2008