The University of Utah is dedicated to providing a safe and healthy environment for its students, faculty, and staff. The illegal use of drugs and alcohol can adversely affect the educational environment and may have devastating effects on the personal lives of those who abuse these substances. For this reason, the University of Utah is a drug free workplace and campus.
This memorandum distributed annually to all faculty, staff and students, describes the University’s DAAPP. Please contact the Center for Student Wellness at (80 I) 581-7776 for additional information and resources.
Legal Sanctions: Federal, State, Local Law
Federal and Utah State laws prohibit the use of illicit drugs and actions related to the abuse of alcohol. Summarized below are the general federal and state laws relating to drugs and alcohol.
In 1984, the National Minimum Drinking Age Act (Public Law 98-363) was passed.
The following table summarizes the federal drug trafficking penalties.
Utah law prohibits the possession and distribution of controlled substances, which are defined in Utah’s statutes and include such drugs as marijuana, heroin, cocaine and prescribed medications. See Utah Code Ann. § 58-37-4 for a listing of controlled substances.
In Utah, it is unlawful to produce, manufacture and/or dispense a controlled substance. Violation of this law may result in charges running from a class A misdemeanor to second degree felony depending upon the type of controlled substance and the circumstances of the crime. Utah Code Ann. § 58-37-8(1).
It is unlawful in Utah possess or use a controlled substance except pursuant to a valid prescription. Violation of this law may result in charges running from a class B misdemeanor to second degree felony depending upon the quantity of drugs within the individual’s possession. Utah Code Ann. §58-37-8(2).
It is class B misdemeanor in Utah to use or possess drug paraphernalia. Utah Code Ann. § 58-37a-5.
Penalties for drug violations in Utah may include incarceration for varying periods of time and fines ranging from $750 to $10,000 depending upon the nature and circumstances of the offense. Utah law provides for enhanced penalties and charges if the drug violations occur on a college campus.
Utah law prohibits minors under the age of 21 from consuming alcohol. Utah Code Ann. § 32B-4-409. A violation of this law will result in the suspension of driving privileges.
It is also unlawful in Utah to sell or distribute alcohol to a minor. Utah Code Ann § 32B-4-403. Violation of this law is a class A or B misdemeanor.
Utah law prohibits driving while under the influence of alcohol. Utah Code Ann. §41-6a-503. Violations of this law may result in charges from a class B misdemeanor to a third degree felony depending upon the circumstances. Driving under the influence will also result in the suspension or revocation of a driving license.
The use of any illicit drug or abuse of alcohol is potentially hazardous to your health. Faculty, staff, and students should evaluate the health risks associated with use of illicit drugs or abuse of alcohol. Synthetically produced drugs may contain impurities and the true amounts and ingredients are rarely known. The effects of a drug may be significantly different with each use.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration states: "The illegal importation, manufacture, distribution, and possession and improper use of controlled substances have a substantial and detrimental effect on the health and general welfare of the American people."
According to Ralph W. Hingson, SC.D., Professor of Social Behavioral Sciences and Associate Dean for Research at Boston University School of Public Health, "The harm that college students do to themselves and others as a result of excessive drinking exceeds what many would have expected." NIH News Release - College Drinking Hazardous to Campus Communities Task Force Calls for Research-Based Prevention Programs
The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism (NIAAA) provides comprehensive information and resources associated with alcohol abuse. Some of the major health risks of alcohol abuse include alcohol dependence, lasting effects on the brain, sexual assault, and suicide. Visit: www.niaaa.nih.gov for more information. For college students in particular, visit: www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov.
Health risks associated with other drugs are indicated in the following table: (Visit https://www.campusdrugprevention.gov/content/drug-scheduling-and-penalties and https://www.dea.gov/documents/2017/06/15/drugs-abuse#page=30 for more specific drug information)
Drug and Alcohol Programs Available at the University of Utah
The University’s Drug Free Workplace Policy recognizes that rehabilitation of employees and students for drug and alcohol violations is preferred to discipline. Policy 5-113(IV)(D). The University of Utah offers faculty, staff, and students a variety of alcohol and drug treatment options. Faculty and staff can contact the University's Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for information and referrals for treatment. Call the EAP at (801) 587-9391. In addition to the EAP, individual and group drug and alcohol abuse treatment are available for faculty, staff, and students through the University Counseling Center. Call the University Counseling Center at (801) 581-6826. There are also numerous treatment options available in the community. Contact the Center for Student Wellness at (801) 581-7776 or visit its website at http://www.wellness.utah.edu for more information.
University Discipline for Violations of Drug and Alcohol Policies
The University of Utah complies with federal and Utah state laws and penalties regarding the misuse of legal drugs (alcohol and tobacco) and use of illegal drugs. In addition to the criminal sanctions that may apply, the University of Utah will impose discipline on any employee or student who violates the University’s drug and alcohol policies.
Student Policy and Discipline
University Policy 6-400 is the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities (“Student Code”). Section III of the Student Code governs student behavior on campus. The Student Code specifically prohibits the “Use, possession or distribution of any narcotic or other controlled substance on University premises, at University activities, or on premises over which the University may has supervisory responsibility pursuant to state statute or local ordinance, except as permitted by law and University regulations.” Policy 6-400, Section 3(A)(8).
The Student Code prohibits the “Use possession or distribution of alcoholic beverages of any type on University premises except as permitted by law and University regulations.” Policy 6-400, Section 3(A)(9).
The Student Code also prohibits the “Violation of federal, state or local civil or criminal/laws on University premises, while participating in University activities, or on premises over which the University has supervisory responsibility pursuant to state statute or local ordinance.” Policy 6-400, Section 3(A)(11).
Violation of the drug and alcohol provisions of the Student Code may result in one or more of the following criminal consequences and/or sanctions:
• Prosecution under federal and/or state laws as appropriate to the law violated, and/or
• Review of violation by University of Utah Student Behavior Committee with possible sanctions that may include suspension or expulsion dependent upon the nature of the offense, circumstances, and previous violations.
In addition to these sanctions, students who violate the Standards of Behavior should expect to be involved in processes indicated by the matrix below.
Since a variety of factors must be considered when sanctioning, sanctions may be increased or decreased at the discretion of university personnel responsible for administering the Student Code. Factors affecting the imposition of sanctions include such issues as the severity of the incident, impact upon other individuals or the community, and other prior judicial history. The matrix below represents examples of actions that could be or are typically taken with students who violate the student code regarding alcohol and drug use on campus. Local, state, and federal laws may also apply to alcohol and drug violations.
Faculty and Staff Policy and Discipline
University Policy 5-113 is the University’s Drug Free Workplace Policy. This Policy provides:
A. It is University Policy to maintain a drug-free workplace. It shall be a violation of this policy for employees to engage in the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession and/or use of a controlled substance or alcohol at a university workplace, or while engaged in university business off campus.
B. Any person accepting employment with the university agrees to abide by the terms of this policy and procedure.
The University’s Code of Faculty Rights and Responsibilities (“Faculty Code”) expressly recognizes: “Faculty members may also be subject to discipline for violation of the Drug-Free Workplace Policy (Policy 5-113) and the Field Trip Policy (Policy 10-003) in accordance with the procedures described in those policies. Policy 6-316, Section 4(8).
Sections 5 and 6 of the Faculty Code outline the sanctions and procedures for imposing faculty discipline for violations of the Faculty Code. Discipline may include a range of sanctions including a written reprimand, suspension or dismissal. Policy 6-316, Sections 5 & 6.
Staff employees may be disciplined for violating any University policies. Utah Policy 5-111 and Rules 5-111A and 5-111B outline the process for imposing University discipline for violation of workplace policies and standards. University Rule 5-111C recognizes that violations of the Drug Free Workplace rules may pose particular risks to the University community. It defines as “egregious behavior” the “Use, being under the influence or possession of alcohol in violation of the University's Alcohol related policies 3-192, 5-113 and 5-114; or illegal use of drugs and/or being under the influence of illegal drugs while on University property or when engaged in University business and when such conduct poses a serious threat of harm to people, property and/or resources of the University.” Egregious behavior may result in termination upon one instance of misconduct. Rule 5-111C.
Any employee of the University who violates the Drug Free Workplace policy may be required to participate in a drug or alcohol abuse assistance or rehabilitation program approved by the director of human resources in accordance with federal law.