Chestnut Hill College is, by virtue of its mission, concerned with the development of the student’s mind, body, spirit and personality. As such, the college realizes that given the significant alcohol-related problems in society, serious efforts must be made to educate students so that they can make responsible choices.
Under third party or Dram laws, commercial sellers of alcoholic beverages are liable for the adverse effects of alcohol consumption. Amid public concern over drunk driving and other alcohol-related social problems, dram laws have been extended beyond commercial sellers of alcohol to social hosts, employers and other unlicensed furnishers of alcoholic beverages.
Because of these emerging legal trends, individuals, groups, and/or organizations that host events where alcohol is served may be held liable for damages and injuries caused by an intoxicated guest. The potential for liability is increased when the alcoholic beverages are being furnished to minors. Thus, social host liability holds ominous implications for colleges and universities; such institutions may be held liable when they provide alcoholic beverages to students, employees, or the public, and the potential for liability is more extreme when alcohol is furnished for minors.
Pennsylvania Liquor Code Laws
Members of the Chestnut Hill College community are expected to be aware of and obey state and municipal laws or ordinances regulating the use, possession, or sale of alcoholic beverages. Students who are cited for violations of such laws or ordinances by state or municipal authorities may also face college disciplinary proceedings and/or be required to pursue counseling or treatment as a condition of continued enrollment at the college.
The following are important Pennsylvania Liquor Code Laws and the sanctions for violating them. They are applicable to every person on the Chestnut Hill College Campus, regardless of his or her state or country of origin. Moreover individuals may face severe financial consequences from a lawsuit arising out of use or misuse of alcohol.
It is a summary offense for a person under 21 years old to purchase, consume, possess or knowingly and intentionally transport any liquor, malt or brewed beverages. Penalty for a first offense is suspension of driving privileges for up to 90 days; for a second offense, suspension of driving privileges for up to one year, a fine up to $500 and imprisonment for up to one year. Multiple sentences involving suspension of driving privileges must be served consecutively.
It is a crime intentionally and knowingly to sell or intentionally or knowing to furnish or to purchase with the intent to sell or furnish, any liquor or malt or brewed beverages to any minor (under 21). "Furnish" means to supply, give or provide to, or to allow a minor to possess on premises or property owned or controlled by the person charged. Penalty for a first violation is $1,000; $2,500 for each subsequent violation; imprisonment up to one year.
It is a crime for any person under 21 years of age to possess an identification card falsely identifying that person as being 21 years of age or older, or to obtain or attempt to obtain liquor or malt or brewed beverages by using a false identification card. Penalties are as stated in (1) above.
It is a crime to intentionally, knowingly or recklessly manufacture, make, alter, sell or attempt to sell an identification card falsely representing the identity, birth date or age of another. Minimum fine of $l,000 for first violation; $2,500 for subsequent violations; imprisonment for up to two years for any violation.
It is a crime to misrepresent one’s age knowingly and falsely in order to obtain liquor or malt or brewed beverages. Penalties are as stated in (1) above.
It is a crime to knowingly, willfully, and falsely misrepresent that another is of legal age to obtain liquor or malt or brewed beverages. Penalty is a minimum fine of $300 and imprisonment for up to one year.
It is a crime to hire, request or induce any minor to purchase liquor or malt or brewed beverages. Penalty is a minimum fine of $300 and imprisonment for up to one year.
Sales without a license or purchase from an unlicensed source of liquor or malt beverages are prohibited.
It is unlawful to possess or transport liquor or alcohol within the Commonwealth unless it has been purchased from a State Store or in accordance with Liquor Control regulations.
In addition, a City of Philadelphia ordinance prohibits the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public streets, sidewalks, highways, buildings, lanes, parking lots, recreation or park areas or other public property within the City of Philadelphia.
Effects of Alcohol
Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses significantly impair the judgment and coordination required for driving a car safely, increasing the likelihood that the driver will be involved in an accident. Low to moderate doses of alcohol also increases the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including spouse and child abuse. Moderate to high doses of alcohol cause marked impairments of higher mental functions, severely altering a person’s ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses cause respiratory depression and death. If combined with other depressants of the central nervous system, much lower doses of alcohol will produce the effects just described.
Repeated use of alcohol can lead to dependence. Sudden cessation of alcohol intake is likely to produce withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and convulsions. Alcohol withdrawal can be life threatening. Long-term consumption of large quantities of alcohol, particularly when combined with poor nutrition, can also lead to permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and the liver.
Mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome. These infants have irreversible physical abnormalities and retardation. In addition, research indicates that children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk than other youngsters of becoming alcoholics.
Sanctions Concerning Alcohol Use/Abuse
Violations of the alcohol policy will remain active and accumulate for the duration of a student’s matriculation at Chestnut Hill College. Previous alcohol violations, regardless of severity, will be taken into consideration when sanctioning present incidents.
Sanctions include but are not limited to the following:
Possession and/or Consumption of Alcohol on Campus, on College Sponsored Trips or at College Sponsored Events (even if over 21 years of age)
Possession of alcohol includes being present in a location where alcohol is present.
1st Offense - Alcohol education, $50 fine
2nd Offense - Alcohol assessment and/or education, parental notification, $75 fine, disciplinary probation
3rd Offense - Possible suspension or expulsion from housing and/or the College, $100 fine
Hosting an Alcohol Gathering on Campus or in Campus Housing/Furnishing
Alcohol Amount and type of alcohol is factored in the disciplinary sanction. That is, greater amounts of alcohol lead to more serious sanctions. In addition, sanctions are most likely increased when the hard liquor is present (i.e. vodka, rum, etc.).
1st Offense - Alcohol education, parental notification, disciplinary probation, $100 fine
2nd Offense - Alcohol assessment, parental notification, possible suspension from College housing, disciplinary probation, $200 fine
3rd Offense - Parental conference, possible suspension or expulsion from the College, $300 fine
Use of Alcohol Resulting in Erratic/Abusive/Destructive/Violent Behavior
1st Offense - Alcohol assessment, restitution for damage, parental notification, $100 fine, disciplinary probation
2nd Offense - Possible suspension or expulsion from housing and/or the College, $200 fine
Hospitalization as a Result of Alcohol
1st Offense - Parental conference prior to returning to College and/or housing, alcohol assessment, reflection paper, disciplinary probation
This list of sanctions is not meant to be all-inclusive, but it is to be used as a guideline for sanctioning. Examples of an educational sanction assigned for violating the alcohol policy include, but are not limited to bulletin boards, research papers, reflection papers, alcohol education class and community service.
Alcohol assessments will be performed by someone acceptable to the College. The student must execute a waiver to allow the College access to verification of participation in an assessment. Verification of participation in an assessment may be released to parents. Any student who refuses to participate will risk probation and/or loss of housing.
Payment of Fines
Fines will be placed on a student’s account. All moneys collected as a result of fines shall be allocated for Alcohol Education and will be administered by the Vice President for Student Life.
Chestnut Hill College does not condone the violation of any civil statute. The possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs is prohibited within the College. The College, however, has no intention of usurping the role of civil authority and will notify authorities immediately if the College believes there is possible illegal activity occurring on campus. The College is concerned with drug use, not only because it is a violation of a civil statute, but also because it is detrimental to the achievement of institutional goals. The primary role of this community is the intellectual and emotional development of its members. It is generally recognized that the effect of drugs (ex. lysergic acid, mescaline, methadone, heroin and marijuana) is to alter one’s judgment and level of awareness. Constant use and/or abuse of drugs can result in permanent physical damage and psychological dependence as well as increasing inability to distinguish illusion from reality. The effects are opposed to the proper functioning of an academic community.
The College is vitally interested in the well being of all members of its community and therefore, wishes always to offer assistance rather than punishment. The College recognizes that chronic drug usage does not occur in isolation. Rather, it is a symptom of other difficulties that the individual is experiencing. In view of this, the College makes available to all members of its community a counseling office staffed by professionally trained personnel. Counseling is confidential; the Counseling Center can be reached at 215.248.7041 and is located on the 3rd floor of St. Joseph Hall. The College strongly urges its members to take advantage of these services.
For the health and well-being of the community, drug paraphernalia of any kind is also prohibited. This includes any item used in the consumption or storage of drugs. This includes, but is not limited to, pipes, bongs, water bongs, needles, and other homemade items not being used for their intended purpose, but being used to consume drugs.
Students who are found to be possessing or using illegal drugs, or against whom there is strong evidence of possession or use, will face sanctions which include, but are not limited to:
Possession, Personal Use and/or Paraphernalia
1st Offense - Parental notification, drug assessment, possible suspension from College housing, disciplinary probation, $100 fine 2nd Offense ~ Suspension or expulsion from the College
Possession with intent to Manufacture, Sell, Distribute, Share, Traffic
1st Offense - Suspension or expulsion from College
Drug assessments will be performed by someone acceptable to the College. The student must execute a waiver to allow the College access to verification of participation in an assessment. Verification of participation in an assessment may be released to parents. Any student who refuses to participate will risk probation and/or loss of housing.
Chestnut Hill College students are subject to prosecution under the Pennsylvania Controlled Substance; Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act for drug abuse and unlawful drug use and unlawful drug sales. The following state and federal laws concerning specific illicit drugs are drawn from the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, 35 p.s. section 107 708-113 et, seq. of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and from the Federal Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, 2 U.S.C.A. 801, et, seq., (specifically, the penalties for manufacturing, distributing, dispensing or possessing a controlled substance are found in section 84l of the Act).