Appendix D: College Alcohol Policy


Hampden-Sydney College expects any group of students—either formally or informally organized—to conform to the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Code of Student Conduct, and this policy statement. The host(s) of any event at which alcohol is present or served may be held responsible for the actions and well-being of his guests. The host is encouraged to assist in making arrangements for the safety of those who appear to be impaired.

A. State Alcohol Law

Key features of the Laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia include:

  1. You must be 21 years old or older to drink alcoholic beverages.
  2. You may not drink in any unlicensed public place. This means anywhere the public can go, not just a publicly owned place.
  3. If you attempt to operate a motor vehicle after consuming alcoholic beverages, you may be charged with Driving While Intoxicated if your blood alcohol content is 0.08% or above.
  4. Virginia’s Keg Registration Law requires that a person of legal age register when he purchases a keg. It also cautions the registrant not to permit anyone under legal age to consume any beer from that keg.
  5. If you are under 21 years of age, driving with a BAC of at least 0.02 but less than 0.08 will be punishable by a fine of up to $500 and a six-month suspension of one’s driver’s license.
  6. One’s driver’s license automatically will be revoked for seven days if he refuses a breath test or has a BAC of 0.08 or higher. Also, there is no option of requesting a blood test instead of a breath test for an alcohol-related offense.

B. College Alcohol Requirements

  1. No student group, organization, or fraternity, other than the College Activities Committee in a licensed event, may use funds from its treasury to purchase alcohol for any purpose or co-sponsor an event where alcohol is served or provided. Also, no individuals, acting alone or in groups, may collect, donate, or use their own money to purchase or provide alcohol for any student organization event, social or otherwise. This means no alcohol may be provided or served by any student organization or fraternity except the CAC as noted above.
  2. No individual sponsoring an approved social event, e.g., in the residence hall, may provide alcohol.
  3. All approved social events, individually-sponsored or under the aegis of a student organization or fraternity, shall be B.Y.O.B. or dry events. The expectation for B.Y.O.B. events is that only those persons of legal age will bring alcohol.
  4. No kegs of beer or other common containers of alcoholic beverages are permitted in residence halls, cottages, fraternity houses, or other areas where parties are permitted unless written authorization is made by the appropriate College official, in advance.
  5. No alcoholic beverage may be consumed in public on the Hampden-Sydney College campus, nor may open containers of alcoholic beverages be transported on or upon public areas. There may be no public display of alcoholic beverages. Violators are subject to arrest.
  6. Alcoholic beverages may be possessed and consumed by those of legal age in the following locations: designated tailgate areas at football games, private residence hall rooms (except in “dry” residence halls); cottages, fraternity houses, and, with the approval of the occupant, faculty, departmental, and administrative offices. Other locations may also be used for official College functions and registered social functions with the approval of the Dean of Students or his designee.
  7. Alcoholic beverages may be sold to those of legal age at properly licensed events and at licensed establishments. Thompson Hospitality, the College’s food service, holds the only permanent ABC license on campus. Therefore, if any public function Thompson Hospitality caters also involves the serving of alcohol, Thompson Hospitality must provide the alcohol, bartenders, etc., all in conformity with ABC regulations.
  8. Guidelines for public and private social events:
    1. No college funds may be used to provide alcoholic beverages at any function where a significant proportion of students is to be present, unless they are of legal age.
    2. All student functions where alcohol is to be consumed and where the expected attendance is to exceed twelve people shall be duly registered with the Office of Student Affairs by 4 PM on the business day before the function is to be held.
    3. Faculty and staff are expected to know and abide by the tenets of this Policy in planning social events. Questions concerning these regulations should be directed to the Dean of the Faculty.
      1. When alcoholic beverages are present, non-alcoholic beverages and food may also be required.
      2. When mixed drinks are provided at an approved function, the persons serving drinks will be instructed to serve drinks that have been properly measured according to normally accepted, standard proportions. Standard (1-1/2 ounce) measuring jiggers will be provided. All bartenders or servers must be of legal age.
    4. Designated non-drinking persons, the number (no fewer than two) to be proportioned to the expected attendance, shall be present at all registered events to assist those responsible for the event.
      1. The College expects those students who have not reached the legal age to consume an alcoholic beverage to refuse an alcoholic beverage when it is offered. It is also expected that the host will be sensitive to the age of his guests and will provide non-alcoholic beverages to underage students.
      2. Driving under-the-influence of alcohol will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
    5. No event shall include any form of “drinking contest” or game such as beer pong in its activities or promotions.
    6. No alcoholic beverages may be awarded as prizes or incentives.
    7. Security personnel may visit registered events periodically to check with a person responsible for the party, primarily to offer assistance. If a violation of the law or College policy is observed, the Campus Security Officer may report the matter to the appropriate College official and/or take action as needed.
  9. Fraternities and student clubs and organizations: Fraternity and club parties shall be closed to all but members and their invited guests.
  10. Athletic events:
    1. The consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited unless it occurs in designated tailgating areas (football) during designated times, and only in conformity with the law.
    2. Picnics and coolers are permitted on the hillside area surrounding Everett Stadium during football games and in the stadium. No alcohol permitted.
    3. Any public display of alcohol is prohibited.
    4. Violation of college policy or local or state law related to alcohol will result, at a minimum, in confiscation of the alcohol and, at a maximum, in arrest.
  11. Publications and advertising: When the use of alcoholic beverages is depicted or mentioned in any publication or advertisement, only examples of controlled and legal situations will be shown or mentioned. Under no circumstances will advertisements, posters, or invitations from student groups that are intended for public viewing mention or depict alcohol, e.g., no use of terms such as beer bash, happy hour, etc.

C. Adjudicating Violations

  1. The College recognizes that ultimately each individual must be held responsible for his own actions; the use of alcohol and subsequent intoxication are never acceptable excuses for improper behavior.
  2. Student violations of this Policy will be judged by the Student Court following regularly established disciplinary procedures. Sanctions for disciplinary violations are described in The Key and may range from admonition to expulsion.
  3. Violations of this Policy by faculty and staff will be reviewed by the President and the Dean of the Faculty.

D. General

  1. The College has a responsibility to provide an environment in which persons who do not choose to use alcoholic beverages are comfortable and unpressured.
  2. Alcohol information and education are available to any person or group upon request.
  3. The College recognizes that alcohol-related problems may arise when alcoholic beverages are used; therefore, programs to assist students and employees who have alcohol-related problems will be available; educational programs will be presented to those students who have disciplinary problems related to alcohol abuse; and workshops will be available to help faculty and staff members recognize the signs of problem drinking.

E. Legal Requirements and Definitions

  1. If any person shall take a drink of alcohol beverages or shall tender a drink thereof to another, whether accepted or not, at or in any public place, he shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.

    Drinking in public generally is interpreted to mean consuming an alcoholic beverage in plain view from a public road.

    Public place shall mean any place, building or conveyance to which the public has, or is permitted to have, access, including restaurants, soda fountains, hotel dining rooms, lobbies and corridors of hotels, and any highway, street, lane, park or place of public resort or amusement. Unless the public place is under license, no drinking is permitted there. (4.1-308)

  2. No one may sell (or otherwise provide) any alcoholic beverages to anyone and at the time of such sale know or have reason to believe that the person to whom the sale is made is underage or intoxicated.

    Underage persons for beer, wine, liquor, or any other alcoholic beverage are those less than twenty-one years of age. Violation of this law is a misdemeanor, punishable, among other things, by a fine of up to $2500 and up to one year in jail. (4.1-304)

  3. If any underage person purchases or possesses any alcoholic beverage, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

    If convicted, in addition to the usual penalties, such person’s license to operate a motor vehicle in Virginia may be suspended for a period of not more than one year. Under these circumstances, the alcoholic beverage will be confiscated. (4.1-305)

  4. If any person purchases any alcoholic beverage for another person and at the time of such purchase knows or has reason to believe that the person for whom such beverage was purchased is underage, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. (4.1 – 306)

  5. Any underage person who knowingly uses or attempts to use a forged, deceptive or otherwise non-genuine driver’s license to obtain alcoholic beverages shall have his driver’s license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle revoked for a period of not less than thirty days or more than one year. (46.2–347) Any Hampden-Sydney student who falsifies documents or uses a non-valid, fake, altered or forged ID card or similar item of identification will be charged with a violation of the Honor Code.

  6. Drinking while operating a motor vehicle: It is unlawful for any person to consume an alcoholic beverage while driving a motor vehicle. (Class 4 misdemeanor, 18.2–323.1)