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Alcohol & Substance Abuse Policy

September 2010

This policy statement on illegal drugs in the workplace is designed to address the Boston Architectural College's (the BAC) concerns about drug and alcohol abuse, and to ensure that the BAC staff, temporary employees, faculty, administrators, and students comply with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 and the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988.

The BAC strongly promotes a workplace free from the acts and effects of alcohol and substance abuse. Staff, temporary employees, faculty, administrators, and students are responsible for observing all Commonwealth of Massachusetts and federal laws governing the use and possession of alcohol and drugs, and are expected to assume and exercise responsibility for their own behavior.

The use and abuse of illegal drugs and other controlled substances is strictly prohibited. Anyone held to be in violation of the BAC's Alcohol and Substance Abuse Policy will be subject to disciplinary proceedings and may be subject to prosecution.

The use of alcohol at the BAC is subject to strict regulations, in compliance with state and federal laws. The use of other drugs or controlled substances is prohibited.

The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of controlled substances (illicit drugs and alcohol) is prohibited on the BAC's property, or as part of any of the BAC's activities, whether on or away from the College.

The consumption of alcohol while on duty in the workplace is unacceptable, since it can adversely affect the health, safety, integrity, and security of staff, temporary employees, faculty, administrators, and students. It can also have an adverse effect on the judgment, productivity, and attendance levels of staff, temporary employees, faculty, administrators, and students, and undermine the public confidence and trust in the institution.

The BAC's policy regarding alcohol consumption is as follows:

  • The distribution or consumption of alcoholic beverages on campus is prohibited.
  • Events the BAC hosts at which alcoholic beverages are to be served must not be advertised in such a way as to place emphasis on alcohol.
  • No person under the legal drinking age of 21 shall be served alcoholic beverages at the BAC.
  • It shall be the responsibility of the licensee (individual or group) sponsoring the activity or service at or through which alcoholic beverages are served to ensure that all participants possess proper identification (e.g., driver's licenses with photographs) verifying that they are of legal age.
  • Alcoholic beverages may not be taken from an area in which an event/service is approved for the distribution/consumption of alcoholic beverages to an area which is not approved. 
  • At any event during which alcoholic beverages are served, nonalcoholic beverages and food must also be available.

Cases in which a staff member, temporary employee, faculty member, administrator, or student appears to have engaged in inappropriate behavior, defined as contrary to the policy articulated above, should be reported immediately to either the Executive Vice President, Vice President for Finance and Administration, or Provost of Student Affairs, who will initiate disciplinary proceedings as necessary.

Disciplinary actions may include, but are not limited to, warnings, suspensions, expulsions, and referral for prosecution, as well as requiring the completion of a rehabilitation program as a prerequisite for readmission to the program or for re-employment.

SUMMARY OF LEGAL SANCTIONS COVERING ALCHOL AND DRUG ABUSE

It is a violation of state and federal laws to participate in the manufacture, sale, distribution, or use of controlled substances. If convicted, you may be punished by fine, imprisonment, or both. Massachusetts state law subjects an individual to fines ranging from $300 to $1,000, loss of driver's license, and/or imprisonment for the following acts:

  • sale or delivery of alcohol to anyone under 21 years of age,
  • possession, purchase, delivery or transportation of alcohol by anyone under 21 years of age,
  • misrepresentation or falsification of identification in order to purchase alcohol.

 

The law further states that anyone wishing to purchase alcohol must show, upon request, a valid driver's license indicating they are 21 years of age or older.

In addition to the above, courts are increasingly willing to hold those who serve intoxicating beverages liable for damage or injury caused or suffered by the individuals to whom the beverages were served. This could include, in appropriate circumstance, the BAC, organizations sponsoring events where alcohol is served, the officers, members, and advisors of such groups, and the individuals serving the beverages.

If convicted, you may be punished by fine, imprisonment, or both. The BAC community should be aware that some Longwood Security public safety officers have the status of special police under state law and thus may make arrests for state law violations. A more extensive summary of applicable penalties under state and federal law is attached.

Employees, as a condition of employment with the BAC, must abide by the terms of this statement. Employees who are convicted for workplace-related violations of alcohol or drug statutes must notify the Office of Human Resources no later than 5 days after such a conviction.

The Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendment of 1989 also requires that a description of health risks associated with drug use and alcohol abuse be distributed to the BAC staff, temporary employees, faculty, administrators, and students. Potential health risks of alcohol and drug abuse include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Irritability
  • Fluctuating Moods and Emotions
  • Sleep Problems
  • Problems with Relationships
  • Aggressive Behavior
  • Delirium Tremens
  • Ulcers
  • Cirrhosis of the Liver 
  • Impotency
  • Pancreatitis
  • Brain Damage
  • Physical Dependence
  • Pneumonia
  • Cancer of the Esophagus
  • Malnutrition
  • Respiratory Arrest
  • Bronchitis
  • Hepatitis
  • Heart Attack
  • Pregnancy
  • Meningitis
  • Pregnancy Complications

Resources are available to assist the BAC staff, temporary employees, faculty, administrators, and students in understanding and dealing with drug and alcohol abuse. To receive information, students should contact the Advising Office, 617-585-0160, which offers a Student Assistance Program (SAP). Staff and Faculty should contact the Human Resources Office at 617-585-0273 or 617-585-7387, where we offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

Local, state, and federal laws make illegal use of drugs and alcohol serious crimes. Conviction can lead to imprisonment, fines, and assigned community service. Courts do not lift prison sentences in order for convicted persons to attend college or continue their jobs. A felony conviction for such an offense can prevent individuals from entering many fields of employment or professions.

Cities and towns in Massachusetts, specifically Boston, prohibit public consumption of alcohol and impose fines for violation. Massachusetts laws prohibit sale or delivery of alcoholic beverages to persons under 21, with a fine of up to $2,000 and 6 months imprisonment, or both.

Misrepresenting one's age or falsifying an identification to obtain alcoholic beverages is punishable by a fine of $300. A first conviction of driving under the influence of alcohol has a penalty of a $500-$5,000 fine, a one-year revocation of a driver's license, up to two and a half years in prison and mandatory alcohol rehabilitation.

Massachusetts has criminal penalties for use of controlled substances, or drugs, with penalties varying with the type of drug. In general narcotic, addictive, and drugs with a high potential for abuse have heavier penalties.

Possession of drugs is illegal without valid authorization. While penalties for possession are generally not as great as for manufacture and distribution of drugs, possession of a relatively large quantity may be considered distribution. Under both state and federal laws, penalties for possession, manufacture, and distribution are much greater for second and subsequent convictions. Many laws dictate mandatory prison terms and a full minimum term must be served.

Massachusetts 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. Anyone in the presence of heroin at a private party risks a serious drug conviction. Sale and possession of "drug paraphernalia" is illegal in Massachusetts.

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

Under Federal law, distribution of drugs 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. These penalties apply to distribution of drugs in or within 1,000 feet of a college or school. Federal law set greatly heightened prison sentences for manufacture and distribution of drugs, if death or serious injury results from use of the substance