Criminal Sanctions/Responses to Alcohol & Drugs

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.

J38-103.1 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

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J38-107 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.

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J38-103.2 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, upon conviction, exposes the violator to a misdemeanor conviction for which the punishment is confinement in jail for up to 30 days, a fine up to $500 or both.  Upon a second conviction, punishment is either confinement in jail for up to one year, a fine up to $2500, or both.

  8. Possession of less than one-half ounce of marijuana with intent to sell or otherwise distribute, upon conviction, 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 than one-half 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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