The Big Four Alcohol and Drug Strategies

Health Risks and Resources

Criminal Responses to Alcohol and Drugs



The Big Four Alcohol and Drug Strategies

Three Strikes

Students will receive a strike if found responsible for an incident involving alcohol and/or drugs. Students may be suspended for a minimum of one semester upon their receipt of a third strike; strikes are cumulative over a student’s career at JMU. However, students may be suspended prior to a third strike for violations which pose health or safety concerns to the student or the community. Examples of health and safety concerns include but are not limited to; distribution of drugs, supplying alcohol to those who are underage, hospitalizations due to alcohol or drug use, DUIs, and keg registration violations.

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Parent/Guardian Notification

If a student is under the age of 21 at the conclusion of the Accountability Process and is found responsible for an alcohol or drug violation(s), parents/guardians will be notified.

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Off-Campus Adjudication

Alcohol, drug, or felony violations, violations of state or federal law, and other student behavior that occurs off-campus within the City of Harrisonburg or Rockingham County may be addressed by OSARP in accordance with university policies and procedures. Student behavior that is against the mission of the institution may be addressed by OSARP regardless of the location in which it occurred. 

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Enlightened Citizen Amnesty Process (ECAP)

James Madison University is committed to preparing students to be enlightened citizens. Among the characteristics of an enlightened citizen are the ability to make responsible decisions about one’s personal welfare and the ability to make ethical decisions regarding the welfare of others. The Enlightened Citizen Amnesty Process (ECAP) is created to encourage students to make responsible and ethical decisions for themselves and others. 

The ECAP shall grant amnesty from strikes for students affected by medical emergencies as a result of alcohol or other drugs, on or off campus, when help is voluntarily sought by the Affected Party or by a bystander. ECAP does not mean that the Affected Party will be found not responsible; it only means that they will not receive a strike if they are found responsible for violating alcohol or drug policy.  Additionally, amnesty will not be granted to the Affected Party in circumstances where responding medical personnel deem transportation to the hospital is necessary and transport is refused by the Affected Party. Further, the Director or designee reserve the right to not grant amnesty to students who have previously received amnesty if doing so would undermine the intent of the alcohol and drug policies, which includes the safety of students and the community.

For Affected Parties that qualify for ECAP, the strike will not be assigned but educational sanctions may still be required. All cases will be examined for amnesty eligibility on a case-by-case basis. Further, if an Affected Party receives amnesty and is found responsible for additional alcohol or drug violations at a later point in their career at JMU, the strike from their initially granted amnesty may be re-assigned. 

The ECAP shall grant amnesty from a finding of responsibility for alleged alcohol or drug policy violations in the case of student bystanders who voluntarily seek out medical attention for another person, stay with the affected party, if safe to do so, until appropriate medical personnel arrive, and cooperate with the responding authorities. Bystanders, for whom there is evidence of an alleged violation of JMU alcohol or drug policy, will still receive notification of an alleged policy violation and a request to schedule an Administrative Case Review. If the Case Administrator determines that the student meets the criteria of the ECAP, the bystander will receive a finding of “Dropped – Amnesty". A student with this finding will not be considered to have a university disciplinary record. A finding of “Dropped – Amnesty” will typically be accompanied by an instruction from the Case Administrator for the bystander to complete an educational program. The appropriate educational program for the bystander will be determined by the Case Administrator on a case-by-case basis and there will be no fee charged for the program. If the bystander does not complete the assigned educational program, they may receive an alleged violation of the Noncompliance policy. A student may appeal a Case Administrator’s decision not to grant amnesty for a case in writing to the Director of OSARP or designee. After a review of the case and appeal, the Director or designee will inform the student of the final decision on granting or denying amnesty for a case; this will be a final decision on amnesty. 

ECAP does not apply in circumstances where medical attention is requested by JMU staff members, police, or emergency personnel while performing their job duties.  ECAP does not provide protection against civil suits or criminal charges resulting from the incident. 

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Health Risks and Resources

Health Risks of Commonly Abused Substances

In compliance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 (H.R.3614), higher education institutions are required to publish and distribute a list of descriptions of the health risks associated with alcohol and illicit drug use. The list of substances below are considered to be the most commonly abused according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health.

Link to Health Risks of Commonly Abused Substances Chart

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Resources and Treatment

JMU offers the following resources:

  • Reflections Alcohol Intervention Program: This program is comprised of two 50-minute sessions designed to help students explore their expectations around alcohol as well as the potential risks. 

  • Reflections Cannabis Intervention Program: This program is comprised of two 50-minute sessions designed to help students explore their expectations around cannabis as well as the potential risks. 

  • University Health Center (UHC) Consultations: A consultation session is no longer than 50 minutes. Students will explore their expectations around substances as well as the potential risks. Referral to appropriate community resources will be provided. A consultation is an empathic, confidential, and non-judgmental session available to all JMU students. This is not an addiction treatment program. 

  • Educational Programs: JMU’s Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices offers many programs including two educational classes entitled By the Numbers and Calling the Shots. To learn more about these programs, visit: JMU Student Handbook: Sanctioning or call (540) 568 – 6218. 

Students who have not been sanctioned to the above classes are able to enroll. Please see the appropriate link for more information.

 The resources that Harrisonburg offers include but are not limited to:

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Criminal Responses to Alcohol and Drugs

Responses

JMU takes alcohol and drug abuse very seriously and will impose sanctions, according to the guidelines provided in this Handbook, in response to incidents.  In accordance with the Federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, the pertinent laws, including sanctions for their violation, are summarized below for Alcohol and Drugs.

Criminal Sanctions - Alcohol

Virginia's Alcohol Beverage Control Act contains a variety of laws governing the possession, use and consumption of alcoholic beverages. The Act applies to the students and employees of this institution. As required by the Federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, the pertinent laws, including sanctions for their violation, are summarized below:

  1. It is unlawful for any person under age 21 to purchase or possess any alcoholic beverage.  Violation of the law expose the violator to a misdemeanor conviction for which the punishment is either confinement in jail for up to 12 months, a fine up to $2500 or both.  Additionally such person’s Virginia driver’s license may be suspended for a period of not more than one year.

  2. It is unlawful for any person to sell alcoholic beverages to persons under the age of 21.  Violation of the law exposes the violator to a misdemeanor conviction for which the punishment is either confinement in jail for up to 12 months, a fine up to $2500 or both.

  3. It is unlawful for any person to purchase alcoholic beverages for another when, at the time of the purchase, they know or has reason to know that the person for whom the alcohol is being purchased is under the legal drinking age.  The criminal sanction for violation of the law is the same as item 2 above.

  4. It is unlawful for any person, regardless of age, to consume alcoholic beverages in unlicensed public places.  Violation of the law, upon conviction, exposes the violator to a misdemeanor conviction for which the punishment is a fine up to $250.

  5. It is unlawful for any person under the age of 21 to use or to attempt to use an altered or fictitious I.D. to purchase alcoholic beverages.  Punishment is confinement in jail for up to 12 months and a fine of $2500, either or both.  Driving privileges shall also be revoked for at least 6 months or up to 1 year.

  6. It is illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol.  Individuals are considered impaired if their blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds .08.  Person’s under the age of 21 who drive with a BAC of at least .02 but less than .08 may be fined up to $500 and have their driver’s license suspended for up to six months.  Persons with a BAC of .08 or higher or persons refusing a breath test will have their driver’s license automatically revoked.

  7. It is unlawful for any person under 21 to operate any motor vehicle after illegally consuming alcohol.  Violation of the law is a misdemeanor for which the punishment is loss of driver’s license for 6 months and up to $500 fine.

See also Code of Virginia 18.2-251; First Offender Status for Substance Charges


Conditions for Approval of Events Where Alcohol is Served

  • In order to apply for an ABC license, the majority of persons in attendance must be of legal age for the beverage being served at an event. 

  • The focus of the event is not limited to alcohol consumption.

  • Nonalcoholic beverages must be available at a comparable price at all times that alcoholic beverages are being sold.

  • Sponsors will provide solid food to moderate the effects of alcohol consumption and will continue to have food available as long as alcohol is being served.

  • No social event shall include any form of “drinking contest” in its activities or promotion.

  • Publicly distributed materials, including advertisements for any university event, shall not make reference to the availability of alcoholic beverages.

  • Individuals sponsoring the event are responsible for taking measures to ensure that alcoholic beverages are not accessible or served to persons under the legal age. This requires verifying age on entry to the event and checking those who may drink alcohol where it is served. Persons serving alcohol or checking age may not consume alcohol prior to or while serving.

  • During an event, people may not enter or exit with alcohol.

  • Sponsors are expected to abide by any additional rules for the facility where the event occurs.

Criminal Sanctions - Controlled Substances and Illicit Drugs

The unlawful possession, distribution and use of controlled substances and illicit drugs, as defined by the Virginia Drug Control Act, are prohibited in Virginia. Controlled substances are classified under the act into schedules ranging from Schedule I - Schedule VI, as defined in sections 54.1-3446 through 54.1-3456 of the Code of Virginia (1950), as amended. As required by the Federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, the pertinent laws, including sanctions for their violation, are summarized below:

  1. Possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedules I or II of the Drug Control Act, upon conviction, exposes the violator to a felony conviction for which the punishment is a term of imprisonment ranging from one to ten years, or in the discretion of the jury or the court trying the case without a jury, confinement in jail for up to twelve months and a fine up to $2500 either or both.

    (Link to Code of Virginia - Schedule I substances)
    (Link to Code of Virginia -  Schedule II substances)

  2. Possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedule III of the Drug Control Act, upon conviction, exposes the violator to a misdemeanor conviction for which the punishment is confinement in jail for up to twelve months and a fine up to $ 2500, either or both.

    (Link to Code of Virginia -  Schedule III substances)

  3. Possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedule IV of the Drug Control Act, upon conviction, exposes the violator to a misdemeanor conviction for which the punishment is confinement in jail for up to six months and a fine up to $1000, either or both.

    (Link to Code of Virginia - Schedule IV substances)

  4. Possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedule V of the Drug Control Act, upon conviction, exposes the violator to a misdemeanor conviction for which the punishment is a fine up to $500.

    (Link to Code of Virginia - Schedule V substances)

  5. Possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedule VI of the Drug Control Act, upon conviction, exposes the violator to a misdemeanor conviction for which the punishment is a fine up to $250.

    (Link to Code of Virginia -  Schedule VI substances)

  6. Possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedule III, IV, or V of the Drug Control Act with the intent to sell or otherwise distribute, upon conviction, exposes the violator to a misdemeanor conviction for which the punishment is either confinement in jail for up to one year, a fine up to $2500, or both.

  7. Possession of marijuana exposes the violator to a civil penalty of no more than $25. Any violation of this section shall be charged by summons. A summons for a violation of this section may be executed by a law-enforcement officer when such violation is observed by such officer. The summons used by a law-enforcement officer pursuant to this section shall be in form the same as the uniform summons for motor vehicle law violations.

  8. Possession of less than one ounce of marijuana with intent to sell, give, or distribute, exposes the violator to a misdemeanor conviction for which the punishment is confinement in jail for up to 12 months and a fine up to $2500, either or both.  If the amount of marijuana involved is more ounce to five pounds, the crime is a felony with a sanction of imprisonment from one to ten years, or in the discretion of the jury or the court trying the case without jury, confinement in jail for up to one year and a fine up to $2500, either or both.  If the amount of marijuana involved is more than five pounds, the crime is a felony with a sanction of imprisonment from five to thirty years.

  9. Possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedules I or II of the Drug Control Act with the intent to sell or otherwise distribute, upon conviction, exposes the violator to a felony conviction for which the punishment is a term of imprisonment from five to forty years and fine up to $500,000. Upon a second conviction, the violator must be imprisoned for not less than five years but may suffer life imprisonment, and fined up to $500,000.  For a third or subsequent offense, a mandatory five-year prison sentence is imposed.

See also Code of Virginia 18.2-251; First Offender Status for Substance Charges

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