The University of Alabama Alcohol and Other Drug Policy for Students

I. Background

In 2002, the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS) created a goal to reduce binge drinking among college students by 2010. You can learn more about College Drinking: Changing the Culture by visiting According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism college students face dire consequences due to high alcohol consumption. These estimates include:1,825 traditional aged college students(between the ages of 18 and 24)die each year due to alcohol-related injuries; 696,000 are assaulted by a peer who has been drinking; 97,000 students are victims of an alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape; 400,000 students had unprotected sex, and more than 100,000 students report to being too intoxicated to know if they consented to having sex, and more than 150,000 develop an alcohol-related health problem. (2009).

II. Purpose

The University recognizes the danger and harm that occurs from the misuse and abuse of alcohol and other drugs (AOD) on the health and academic success of students. The purposes of this policy are to:

  • Serve as an educational tool regarding the minimum standards and expectations related to AOD for a safe campus environment
  • Promote a safe environment for student learning
  • Foster responsible decision making and identifying safe and legal uses regarding AOD
  • Inform the community of consequences of illegal and/or inappropriate use of AOD

III. Philosophy of Student Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy

The University of Alabama is an institution of higher education which seeks to create a community that promotes respect, responsibility for actions, civility, upholds state and federal laws, and fosters an environment conducive to learning for members of the academic community. The misuse of AOD can hinder the University's mission and its role in preparing students for responsible citizenship through appropriately focused educational, environmental and enforcement activities related to student health, safety and wellbeing. Furthermore, this policy is supported by the UA Capstone Creed and the Code of Student Conduct with application to both individuals and student organizations.

The University recognizes that alcohol in and of itself is not an illegal substance, however, the abuse and misuse of alcohol and other drugs can cause significant harm to individuals and/or groups, the University community and the community at large. The University values a safe and welcoming community.

IV. Jurisdiction

This policy applies to all students of the University community. The University affords itself the responsibility to intervene when students receive citations for alcohol and other drug consumption and possession both on and off campus. For this reason, students in violation of the alcohol and other drug policy will be adjudicated even when the incident occurs off the University of Alabama campus. Appendix B of this policy, The University of Alabama Drug- Free Campus and Workplace Policy, which applies to faculty and staff as well, reinforces this point.

V. University Alcohol and Other Drug Policy Statement For Students

The University of Alabama complies fully with federal, state and local laws regarding the possession, sale, and consumption of alcoholic beverages and other drugs. (For further information see Appendix A for a brief overview of some of these laws and Appendix B, Section IV and Attachments 1-3, for a more complete review of the applicable laws and penalties.)

A. Alcohol Policy For Students

The University of Alabama has established the following policy in regards to alcohol use by students of the University community.

Any alcohol served and consumed on the University of Alabama campus must be done in a safe and responsible manner.

  1. Illegal Consumption: Individuals under 21 years of age are not permitted to consume alcohol or be in possession of alcohol. Alcohol paraphernalia (which includes but is not limited to: empty beer cans or bottles, shot glasses, etc.) are prohibited and considered a violation of policy. Individuals over the age of 21 may consume alcohol in designated areas on campus in a safe and responsible manner.
  2. Improper Identification: It is unlawful and a violation of University Policy to use or possess identification that makes an individual appear older or misrepresents an individual as someone else.
  3. Strength of Alcohol: The consumption of any alcohol stronger than 80 proof is not permitted on campus.
  4. Serving/Distribution/Procurement of Alcohol: It is prohibited to serve or provide alcohol to individuals under 21. It is also a violation of this policy to knowingly allow an individual under the age of 21 to consume alcohol. Finally, the University prohibits UA students from serving someone alcohol who is visibly intoxicated, and/or pressuring an individual to use alcohol.
  5. Designated Locations regarding the use of alcohol:
    1. University-owned locations where alcohol consumption is permitted:
      1. President's Mansion, Paul Bryant Conference Center, Ferguson Center, Alumni Hall, Smith Hall, Gorgas House, University Club, and certain University Recreation facilities. All of these locations require individuals to follow the appropriate guidelines, and individuals must receive approval prior to the event. For the most current list of designated University locations where alcohol is permitted, see the Alcohol Policy. View the Grounds Use Alcohol Approval Form.
      2. The President, Provost, and Vice Presidents of the University may designate other sites as appropriate for the use of alcoholic beverages. All other locations (except those listed below) may be approved as appropriate locations for specific events at which alcoholic beverages may be served.
    2. Locations where alcohol is prohibited:
      1. The public use areas of Bryant Denny Stadium and all other athletic competition facilities are permanently restricted from any service or sale of alcoholic beverages.
      2. University Recreation prohibits the consumption of alcoholic beverages in its facilities unless explicitly noted in Appendix F to this policy or in the Alcohol Policy.
  6. Use of common sources or tap systems: Common source and "tap" systems are prohibited except when licensed. This includes, but is not limited to, kegs, beer balls, and punch bowls being used to serve alcohol.
  7. Drinking Games: Drinking games are prohibited on campus. The paraphernalia used to administer drinking games, or assist the user in ingesting alcohol at a fast rate are also prohibited.
  8. Off-campus alcohol use: Student organizations who host a social event off-campus must comply with the Social Event Planning Guidelines (Appendix D). Students who violate federal, state and local laws off campus are still held accountable to the University of Alabama Office of Student Conduct.
  9. Driving Under the Influence: Driving under the influence is strictly prohibited on the University of Alabama campus and by students of the University of Alabama.
  10. Tailgating: Tailgating is a time-honored tradition at the University of Alabama. To keep this tradition alive and thriving, it is important that individuals adhere to the alcohol policy. Unattended tents and coolers are subject to inspection; any alcohol found will be confiscated. Public intoxication will not be tolerated; violators are subject to arrest.

B. Other Drugs Policy For Students

As members of the University of Alabama community, students have an obligation to uphold the Code of Student Conduct, as well as federal, state and local laws. The following define the University's policies regarding drug use, excluding alcohol (see also Appendix B).

  1. Illegal Drugs: The University of Alabama prohibits illegal drugs on University property.
  2. Medications: Prescription drugs are permitted on campus if accompanied by an authentic medical prescription. The use and/or distribution of legal medication outside the parameters of the medical authorization is prohibited.
  3. Contraband: Drug paraphernalia, use, possession, sale, distribution and manufacturing are prohibited, except as permitted by law and Alcohol and Other Drug policy.
  4. Driving under the influence: Driving under the influence of drugs is prohibited.

VI. Appendices for Further Detail in Selected Areas

Appendix A: Summary of Federal, State and Local Alcohol/Other Drugs Laws

Appendix B: UA Drug-Free Campus and Workplace Policy
     Attachment 1 - Federal Trafficking Penalties
     Attachment 2 - State of Alabama Controlled Substances/Marijuana Violations and Penalties
     Attachment 3 - State of Alabama & Tuscaloosa City Code Alcohol Violations and Penalties

Appendix C: Code of Student Conduct (Student Code of Conduct)

Appendix D: Social Event Planning Guidelines

Appendix E: UA Housing and Residential Communities Living Standards (Section IV Rules Regarding Substances)

Appendix F: Excerpts from University Recreation Policies re: Alcohol Use

Appendix G: Alcohol Policy (Associated with Grounds Use Policy)

Appendix H: Ferguson Center Alcohol Policy

Appendix I: Resources Available

Appendix J: Alcohol Poisoning Signs, Effects of Blood Alcohol Concentration, and Tips for Lowering Drinking Risks

NOTE: This policy applies to students of the University of Alabama. Faculty and staff should review Appendix B, The University of Alabama Drug-Free Campus and Workplace Policy.

(Approved May 22, 2012 by Drs. Bonner and Nelson; revised Fall 2014)

Appendix A

Summary of Federal, State and Local Alcohol/Other Drugs Laws

The following is a brief summary of some of the laws UA students must adhere to relating to alcohol and other drugs. A more detailed list of federal, state, and local laws and penalties is contained in UA's Drug Free Campus and Workplace Policy, Section IV and Attachments 1, 2, and 3 (Appendix B).

  1. Aiding Underage Possession/Consumption of Alcohol: It is unlawful to aid a person under the age of 21 in obtaining alcohol, including falsely representing the person is not a minor.
  2. Unlawful Possession, Receipt, Manufacture, or Distribution (Trafficking) of Controlled Substances (Including Marijuana): It is unlawful to knowingly sell, manufacture, possess supplies to create controlled substances, deliver, bring into the state, receive or be in possession of controlled substances. This includes illegally obtaining prescription drugs and marijuana (which is not legal in Alabama). Trafficking to persons under age 21, or on premises in which a person younger than 18 is present or resides, or in close proximity to a school or college results in significantly enhanced penalties, as does a drug offense that results in the death or bodily injury of a person.
  3. Driving Under the Influence (DUI): It is illegal for any person, regardless of age, to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol; the State of Alabama considers anyone with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher as under the influence. Individuals under the age of 21 are considered under the influence of alcohol when they have a blood alcohol content of .02 or higher.
  4. Improper Identification: It is a criminal offense to use false identification to obtain alcohol.
  5. Minor in Possession: In the State of Alabama, it is illegal for any person under the age of 21 to purchase, consume or possess any alcoholic beverage of any kind.
  6. Open Beverage: It is unlawful to have an open container of alcohol in the passenger area of a motor vehicle.
  7. Open House Party: In the state of Alabama, it is illegal for a person in control of a residence to allow a party to continue if alcohol or controlled substances are possessed or consumed by persons under age 21 and the adult knows this and fails to take reasonable action to prevent it.
  8. Alabama Dram Shop Act: Individuals who are injured by a person who received alcohol contrary to Alabama law (underage minor, providing unlawful controlled substance, serving alcohol to visibly intoxicated person, etc.) have a cause of action for civil damages against the person who provided the alcohol to the underage minor or caused the individual to become intoxicated or furnished a controlled substance to that person.
  9. Alabama Civil Damages Act: A person may be liable for damages under civil law to a parent or guardian of a minor if that person unlawfully sells or furnishes spirituous liquors to their minor child. To be liable, there must be evidence that you had knowledge of or was chargeable with notice of the fact that the child was under 21.
  10. Public Intoxication: It is unlawful for a person to appear in a public place under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or other drug to the degree that s/he endangers her/himself or another person or property, or by boisterous and offensive conduct annoys another person in his vicinity.

Appendix B

University of Alabama Drug-Free Campus and Workplace Policy

This policy is available at

Appendix C

Code of Student Conduct

The Code of Student Conduct is maintained on-line by the Office of Student Conduct (select Student Code).

Appendix D

Social Event Planning Guidelines

The Social Event Planning Guidelines applicable to student organizations is maintained on-line at The SOURCE Policies and Procedures (select Social Event Guidelines).

Appendix E

Housing and Residential Communities Living Standards (Section IV Rules regarding substances)

The most current rules regarding the presence of alcohol and/or other drugs in University Housing and Residential Communities are maintained on the Housing and Residential Communities website (see Section IV - Substances). The current version follows.

You are responsible for upholding federal, state, and local laws dealing with alcohol, tobacco, (smoking is not permitted in any University building including residence halls) and other drugs. Simply put, Alcohol is not permitted for students less than 21 years of age, and illegal drugs are not permitted by anyone.

4.01 Under Age Usage of Alcohol: Purchase, possession, consumption, or disruptive behavior due to public intoxication of alcohol by a person under the age of 21 is prohibited. No person under the age of 21 can have access to alcohol and no one over the age of 21 is allowed to have alcohol that is accessible to any person under the age of 21. Alcohol paraphernalia (i.e. empty cans and containers) is also prohibited.

4.02 Alcohol in Common Areas: Possession or consumption of alcohol in common area of residence hall, University apartment, or University residence houses is not allowed, including but not limited to lounges, hallways, stairwells, balconies, laundry rooms, bathrooms, or study areas.

4.03 Alcohol Distribution: Sale or distribution of alcohol by a person over 21 years of age to a person under the age of 21 is prohibited. Sale of alcoholic beverages on campus, including indirect sales (i.e. collection of money at a campus gathering to be used to defray the cost of alcoholic beverages provided at the gathering) is prohibited.

4.04 Common Sources of Alcohol: Use of common sources of alcohol, including but not limited to kegs, party balls, and punch bowls is prohibited.

4.05 Tobacco: Possession or use of tobacco products within the residence hall by those under the legal age of 19 is prohibited.

4.06 Smoking Tobacco: Smoking in a non-designated area of a residence hall or outside area of a residence hall is prohibited.

4.07 Drugs: Possession, delivery, sale, use or manufacture of any illegal drugs or controlled substance is prohibited. This includes Possession, delivery, sale, or use of prescription medication without a prescription or by distribution of medication to an individual other than the individual for whom the medication was prescribed.

4.08 Drug Paraphernalia: Possession of paraphernalia for intended or implied use of controlled substances or paraphernalia possessing illegal drug residue, including but not limited to devices and/or materials used to prepare, use, or cover up the use of drugs is prohibited.

Appendix F

Excerpts from University Recreation Policies re: Alcohol Use

Unauthorized use of alcohol and other drugs is prohibited in all University Recreation facilities. Tobacco use is prohibited at all times in all University facilities (indoor or outdoor).

Student Recreation Center (SRC)

Within the Student Recreation Center (SRC), the multi-activity room (MAR) allows rental group reservations with requests for use of alcohol. All requests to serve alcoholic beverages will be routed to the Vice President of Student Affairs and in accordance with the Social Event Planning Guidelines and Alcohol policies established by the Campus Activities Office. All procedures and forms for compliance with the Social Event Planning Guidelines (see Appendix D) must be followed for alcohol to be permitted in the MAR. Event sponsors are required to comply with the University of Alabama Drug-Free Campus and Work Place Policy and all state and local laws and regulations. All events making the request for alcohol consumption should be made a minimum of seven (7) days in advance of the reservation. All events with alcohol served at the MAR will require on-site security throughout the event.

Reference: SRC Special Event Reservations-Multi Activity Room

Outdoor Fields Complex (OFC)

Within the Outdoor Fields Complex (OFC), rental reservation requests for alcohol require completing the Grounds Use Permit (GUP) form and gaining approval.

References: Facilities and Grounds Use Policy (Section F, Alcohol Policy) and the UA Alcohol Policy

Student Activity Center (SAC)

Within the Student Activity Center (SAC), alcohol use is allowed in designated and approved areas by Bama Dining, Housing and Residential Communities, and/or Intercollegiate Athletics policy. No recreation-specific area of the SAC will allow alcohol use unless approved in compliance with The University of Alabama Alcohol Policy (see Appendix G) and with approval by the Vice President of Student Affairs.

Outdoor Pool Complex (OPC)

Within the Outdoor Pool Complex (OPC), rental group reservations allow for use of alcohol. Alcohol use on The University of Alabama campus is governed by the University's Alcohol Policy (see Appendix G). Groups approved to serve alcohol will need to submit a copy of the approved Alcoholic Beverage Control Board license/permit. A UA Police Officer will be required to work the event and, if group is larger than 149 attendees, additional Officers may be required. The group will need to supply its own colored wrist bracelet for identifying guests who are of legal drinking age.

Reference: University Recreation Center Aquatics

Appendix G

Alcohol Policy (Associated with Grounds Use Policy)

Individuals desiring to serve alcohol in one of the University-owned locations approved in the University's Alcohol Policy should review the most updated version of that policy. The most current version of the Alcohol Approval Form that must be submitted is located at (select Alcohol Approval Form). Individuals should also review the University's Ground Use Permit Coordination website.

Appendix H

Ferguson Center Alcohol Policy

Information regarding the serving of Alcohol at the Ferguson Center is found in the General Reservation Guidelines for the Ferguson Center, Section 4: Food and Alcoholic Beverages.

Appendix I

Resources Available

The University of Alabama has the following resources available for students who are concerned about their own use of alcohol and/or drugs, or a friend who is misusing the substances.

Counseling Center: 1101 Jackson Ave., or call (205) 348-3863 to visit with a licensed counselor for counseling, prevention, and screening.

University Police: 1110 Jackson Ave., or call (205) 348-5454 for campus violence or emergency issues; dial 911 if it is an emergency.

Women's Resource Center: On-call advocate (205) 348-5040

Student Health Center: 750 5th Ave. East (corner of University Blvd. and 5th Ave East), or call (205) 348-2778 to visit with a medical professional. Other Services Include:

  • Health Promotion & Wellness for information and prevention education call (205) 348-3878
  • AlcoholEdu for College™ is an online population level alcohol education course required for all incoming students.
  • AlcoholEdu for Sanctions™ is an online alcohol educational supplement used by Office of Student Conduct for students who have incurred an alcohol related violation, student organizations and parents may also request this program.
  • AlcoholEdu for Parents™ is a resource available to parents of all students designed to support your conversations about alcohol that will help shape the decisions your student must make in college surrounding alcohol use.
  • Substance Abuse Services provides assessment, diagnosis, individual and group therapy services directly to students as well as case management by licensed addiction specialist (205) 348- 8262.
  • Collegiate Recovery Community is for students who have made a commitment to lead sober, healthy lives (205)348-0943


  • Call 911 or 9-911 from a campus phone
  • DCH Regional Medical Center Emergency Room
    809 University Blvd. E. (205) 759-7111
  • Crisis Line-Tuscaloosa (205) 345-1600

Appendix J

Alcohol Poisoning Signs, Effects of Blood Alcohol Concentration, and Tips for Lowering Drinking Risks

I. Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning

Call 911 if a person has any of the following symptoms:

  • Cold, clammy pale or bluish skin
  • Vomiting without waking up
  • Mental confusion, stupor or unconsciousness
  • Can't be awakened by pinching, prodding or shouting
  • Slow breathing (fewer than 8 breaths per minute), or irregular breathing (10 seconds or more between breaths)
  • Seizures
  • Stay sober to take care of you and your friends
  • Don't try to guess the level of drunkenness
  • Never leave an intoxicated person alone!

II. Effects of Blood Alcohol Concentration

    BAC 0.02% - 0.03%:
    • Coordination/Balance: A bit lightheaded
    • Impairment/Judgment: Not as inhibited as usual
    • Emotional: Previous mood prior to drinking may be heightened
    • Physical Signs: Usually okay, somewhat relaxed
    BAC 0.04% - 0.06%:
    • Coordination/Balance: Fairly lightheaded
    • Impairment/Judgment: Feelings of shyness start to disappear, less cautious than usual
    • Emotional: Unrealistic or overblown feelings of joy and happiness
    • Physical Signs: Exaggerating everyday behaviors (ex: talking louder, acting much bolder than usual), feeling warm and relaxed
  2. RISK of HARM
    BAC 0.07% - 0.09%:
    • Coordination/Balance: Major problems in coordination and balance, slightly impaired motor skills
    • Impairment/Judgment: Subjective impairment (belief that you are functioning better than you really are), difficulty deciding whether or not to continue drinking
    • Emotional: Feelings of extreme joy and happiness
    • Physical Signs: Slurred speech, impaired vision and hearing, feeling extremely warm and relaxed
    BAC 0.10% - 0.125%:
    • Coordination/Balance: Significantly impaired motor functions, no sense of coordination or balance
    • Impairment/Judgment: Considerably impaired memory and judgment
    • Emotional: Exaggerated, socially inappropriate emotions leading to loud, aggressive, or argumentative behavior
    • Physical Signs: Impaired vision, hearing and physical and mental reaction time, vomiting, feeling cold
    BAC 0.13% - 0.15%:
    • Coordination/Balance: Overall motor impairment, severe lack of physical control and balance
    • Impairment/Judgment: Greatly impaired judgment and perception
    • Emotional: May be anxious, irritable, uncooperative, depressed
    • Physical Signs: Blurred vision, greatly impaired physical and mental reaction time, and nausea and vomiting pose the risk of physical harm to self or others (ex: stumbling, falling down)
    BAC .16% - .19%:
    • Coordination/Balance: Apparent complete disorientation
    • Impairment/Judgment: Severely impaired judgment and perception
    • Physical Signs: Nausea, vomiting, feeling sick or weak, cold clammy hands and feet, slow breathing risk
    BAC .20% - .24%:
    • Coordination/Balance: Dazed and confused, extremely disoriented, needs help to stand or walk
    • Impairment/Judgment: Impaired memory, blacking out, not feeling pain from injury
    • Physical Signs: Cold clammy hands and feet, vomiting, weakened gag reflex leads to risk of choking on vomit resulting in breathing difficulties, slower or more difficult breathing begins (8 to 10 breaths per minute is considered to be slow breathing)
    BAC .25% - .29%:
    • Coordination/Balance: Severe injury risk due to falling or other accidents
    • Impairment/Judgment: Severely impaired mental and physical functions
    • Physical Signs: Vomiting and depressant effects of alcohol on muscles and nervous system present, great risk of aspiration (choking on vomit causing breathing problems), very slow breathing (less than 8-10 breaths per minute), cold feeling, blue lips
    BAC .30% - .34%:
    • Urgent - Risk of physical harm.
    • Physical Signs: Severely slowed breathing (less than 8-10 breaths per minute) limits oxygen intake, dangerously slowed nerve centers controlling breathing (oxygen intake) and heartbeat (pumping of oxygen), difficulty awakening or arousing, little awareness of surroundings, could suddenly black out or fall into unconsciousness or coma
    BAC .35% - .39%:
    • Physical Signs: Likely unconscious or in a coma, dangerously slowed nerve centers controlling breathing (oxygen intake) and heartbeat (pumping of oxygen), risk that breathing could stop
    BAC .40% and up:
    • Physical Signs: Probably in a coma, brain damage or death due to oxygen deprivation

III. Tips For Responsible (Lower Risk) Drinking

The University of Alabama offers the following "tips" to students of legal drinking age, faculty and staff who choose to consume alcoholic beverages. The University of Alabama does not encourage the use of, nor condone the misuse of, alcoholic beverages or other drugs. University students, faculty and staff are responsible for their own behavior. These "tips" are provided in order to promote a responsible attitude toward the use of alcoholic beverages, and to inform the university community of commonly accepted principles that, if followed, will reduce individual risk.

  1. Pace your drinking. Allow time between drinks.
  2. Consider alternating non-alcoholic "decoy" drinks with those containing alcohol. (Drink plain orange juice every other drink.)
  3. Don't drink on an empty stomach. Foods with fats and/or proteins(such as nuts and cheese) slow alcohol absorption.
  4. Drink only if YOU want to, don't let others dictate your choice.
  5. Keep in mind that an added ice cube, a slightly smaller glass, or a "decoy" drink will go undetected by others. They may help you resist the well-meaning efforts of others at the party who can't stand to see someone without a drink in their hand.